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Cancer Health Center

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Penile Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Cellular Classification of Penile Cancer

Virtually all penile carcinomas are of squamous cell origin and include the following subtypes:

  • Verrucous carcinoma.[1]
  • Warty carcinoma (verruciform).[2]
  • Basaloid carcinoma.[3]

Although they are less common subtypes, warty carcinoma and basaloid carcinoma appear to be more highly associated with human papillomaviruses (HPV), particularly HPV 16, than typical squamous cell carcinoma or verrucous carcinoma of the penis.[3,4,5]

Recommended Related to Cancer

General Information About Melanoma

Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes, which are the cells that make the pigment melanin and are derived from the neural crest. Although most melanomas arise in the skin, they may also arise from mucosal surfaces or at other sites to which neural crest cells migrate, including the uveal tract. Uveal melanomas differ significantly from cutaneous melanoma in incidence, prognostic factors, molecular characteristics, and treatment. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Intraocular (Uveal) Melanoma Treatment...

Read the General Information About Melanoma article > >

In addition, neuroendocrine carcinomas can also be seen.[6]


  1. Schwartz RA: Verrucous carcinoma of the skin and mucosa. J Am Acad Dermatol 32 (1): 1-21; quiz 22-4, 1995.
  2. Bezerra AL, Lopes A, Landman G, et al.: Clinicopathologic features and human papillomavirus dna prevalence of warty and squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. Am J Surg Pathol 25 (5): 673-8, 2001.
  3. Cubilla AL, Reuter VE, Gregoire L, et al.: Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma: a distinctive human papilloma virus-related penile neoplasm: a report of 20 cases. Am J Surg Pathol 22 (6): 755-61, 1998.
  4. Gregoire L, Cubilla AL, Reuter VE, et al.: Preferential association of human papillomavirus with high-grade histologic variants of penile-invasive squamous cell carcinoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 87 (22): 1705-9, 1995.
  5. Rubin MA, Kleter B, Zhou M, et al.: Detection and typing of human papillomavirus DNA in penile carcinoma: evidence for multiple independent pathways of penile carcinogenesis. Am J Pathol 159 (4): 1211-8, 2001.
  6. Vadmal MS, Steckel J, Teichberg S, et al.: Primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the penile urethra. J Urol 157 (3): 956-7, 1997.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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