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Cancer Health Center

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Penile Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage I Penile Cancer

Stage I penile cancer is defined by the following TNM classification:

  • T1a, N0, M0

Stage I penile cancer is curable.[2]

Recommended Related to Cancer

What is prevention?

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective...

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Standard treatment options:

  1. For lesions limited to the foreskin, wide local excision with circumcision may be adequate therapy for control.
  2. For infiltrating tumors of the glans with or without involvement of the adjacent skin, the choice of therapy is dictated by tumor size, extent of infiltration, and degree of tumor destruction of normal tissue. Equivalent therapeutic options include:

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  • Nd:YAG laser therapy has offered excellent control/cure with preservation of cosmetic appearance and sexual function.[7,8]

Because of the high incidence of microscopic node metastases, elective adjunctive inguinal dissection of clinically uninvolved (negative) lymph nodes in conjunction with amputation is often used for patients with poorly differentiated tumors. Lymphadenectomy can carry substantial morbidity, such as infection, skin necrosis, wound breakdown, chronic edema, and even a low, but finite, mortality rate. The impact of prophylactic lymphadenectomy on survival is not known. For these reasons, opinions vary on its use.[9,10,11,12]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I penile cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Penis. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 447-55.
  2. Harty JI, Catalona WJ: Carcinoma of the penis. In: Javadpour N, ed.: Principles and Management of Urologic Cancer. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams and Wilkins, 1983, pp 581-597.
  3. Lynch DF, Pettaway CA: Tumors of the penis. In: Walsh PC, Retik AB, Vaughan ED, et al., eds.: Campbell's Urology. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2002, pp 2945-2947.
  4. Chao KS, Perez CA: Penis and male urethra. In: Perez CA, Brady LW, eds.: Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1998, pp 1717-1732.
  5. McLean M, Akl AM, Warde P, et al.: The results of primary radiation therapy in the management of squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 25 (4): 623-8, 1993.
  6. Mohs FE, Snow SN, Messing EM, et al.: Microscopically controlled surgery in the treatment of carcinoma of the penis. J Urol 133 (6): 961-6, 1985.
  7. Smith JA Jr.: Lasers in clinical urologic surgery. In: Dixon JA, ed.: Surgical Application of Lasers. 2nd ed. Chicago, Ill: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc., 1987, pp 218-237.
  8. Horenblas S, van Tinteren H, Delemarre JF, et al.: Squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. II. Treatment of the primary tumor. J Urol 147 (6): 1533-8, 1992.
  9. Theodorescu D, Russo P, Zhang ZF, et al.: Outcomes of initial surveillance of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the penis and negative nodes. J Urol 155 (5): 1626-31, 1996.
  10. Lindegaard JC, Nielsen OS, Lundbeck FA, et al.: A retrospective analysis of 82 cases of cancer of the penis. Br J Urol 77 (6): 883-90, 1996.
  11. Ornellas AA, Seixas AL, Marota A, et al.: Surgical treatment of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the penis: retrospective analysis of 350 cases. J Urol 151 (5): 1244-9, 1994.
  12. Young MJ, Reda DJ, Waters WB: Penile carcinoma: a twenty-five-year experience. Urology 38 (6): 529-32, 1991.

    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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