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What causes penile cancer?

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Experts don’t know exactly what causes this disease.

Being uncircumcised may make it more likely. If bodily fluids get trapped in the foreskin and aren’t washed away, they may contribute to the growth of cancer cells.

Some research suggests that men who are exposed to certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) may also be more likely to get penile cancer.

This type of cancer is more common in men over age 60, in smokers, and in those who have a weakened immune system.

From: What Is Penile Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Signs and Symptoms of Penile Cancer.”

Cancer Research UK: “Risks and Causes of Penile Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “General Information About Penile Cancer”; “Penile Cancer Treatment.”

Adam Ramin, MD, urologist, Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA; founder and medical director, Urology Cancer Specialists, Los Angeles.

Urology Care Foundation: “Penile Cancer.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on January 30, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Signs and Symptoms of Penile Cancer.”

Cancer Research UK: “Risks and Causes of Penile Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “General Information About Penile Cancer”; “Penile Cancer Treatment.”

Adam Ramin, MD, urologist, Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA; founder and medical director, Urology Cancer Specialists, Los Angeles.

Urology Care Foundation: “Penile Cancer.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on January 30, 2018

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