Penile Cancer

Penile Cancer

Data from the National Cancer Institute's Website

Cancer of the penis, a rare kind of cancer in the United States, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found on the skin and in the tissues of the penis.

Men who are not circumcised at birth may have a higher risk for getting cancer of the penis. A circumcision is an operation in which the doctor takes away part or all of the foreskin from the penis. The foreskin is the skin which covers the tip of the penis. A circumcision is done on many baby boys before they go home from the hospital.

A doctor should be seen if there are any of the following problems: growths or sores on the penis, any unusual liquid coming from the penis (abnormal discharge), or bleeding.

If there are symptoms of cancer, the doctor will examine the penis and feel for any lumps. If the penis doesn’t look normal or if the doctor feels any lumps, a small sample of tissue (called a biopsy) will be cut from the penis and looked at under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and choice of treatment depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it is just in the penis or has spread to other places), and the patient’s general state of health.