Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Penile Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Penile Cancer

    Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the penis.

    The penis is a rod-shaped male reproductive organ that passes sperm and urine from the body. It contains two types of erectile tissue (spongy tissue with blood vessels that fill with blood to make an erection):

    Recommended Related to Cancer

    General Information About Renal Cell Cancer

    Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from renal cell (kidney and renal pelvis) cancer in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 63,920. Deaths: 13,860. Follow-up and Survivorship Renal cell cancer, also called renal adenocarcinoma, or hypernephroma, can often be cured if it is diagnosed and treated when still localized to the kidney and to the immediately surrounding tissue. The probability of cure is directly related to the stage or degree of tumor dissemination...

    Read the General Information About Renal Cell Cancer article > >

    • Corpora cavernosa: The two columns of erectile tissue that form most of the penis.
    • Corpus spongiosum: The single column of erectile tissue that forms a small portion of the penis. The corpus spongiosum surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine and sperm pass from the body).

    The erectile tissue is wrapped in connective tissue and covered with skin. The glans (head of the penis) is covered with loose skin called the foreskin.

    Human papillomavirus infection may increase the risk of developing penile cancer.

    Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn't mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for penile cancer include the following:

    Circumcision may help prevent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). A circumcision is an operation in which the doctor removes part or all of the foreskin from the penis. Many boys are circumcised shortly after birth. Men who were not circumcised at birth may have a higher risk of developing penile cancer.

    Other risk factors for penile cancer include the following:

    • Being age 60 or older.
    • Having phimosis (a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be pulled back over the glans).
    • Having poor personal hygiene.
    • Having many sexual partners.
    • Using tobacco products.

    Signs of penile cancer include sores, discharge, and bleeding.

    These and other signs may be caused by penile cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

    • Redness, irritation, or a sore on the penis.
    • A lump on the penis.

    Tests that examine the penis are used to detect (find) and diagnose penile cancer.

    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
     
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article