Cancer of the Penis

Cancer of the penis is characterized by a malignancy that develops in or on the penis. It’s most likely to develop at the end of the penis or on the foreskin. This type of cancer is rare and is usually found only in men over the age of 50. The American Cancer Society states that research shows the proven risk factors include having unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners (increasing the likelihood of human papillomavirus infection), and cigarette smoking.

Penile cancer is extremely rare in the United States and accounts for less than one half a percent of cancers diagnosed among men and less than one tenth of a percent of cancer deaths among men.

Circumcision is the removal of a part or all of the male foreskin either at birth or later on. This practice has been suggested as giving some protection against cancer of the penis by contributing to improved hygiene.

However, the penile cancer risk is low in some uncircumcised populations, and the practice of circumcision is strongly associated with socio-ethnic factors, which in turn are associated with lessened risk. The consensus among studies that have taken these other factors into
account is circumcision is not of value in preventing cancer of the penis.


  • Quit Smoking.
  • Stay free of sexually transmitted diseases-practice safe sex.


  • a pimple-like, painless sore that appears most often on the end of the penis or on the foreskin
  • any other painless sore or warts on the penis
  • a persistent sore spot, ulcer or warty lump on the penis that slowly spreads
  • tender or swollen lymph nodes in the groin or abdomen
  • bleeding during urination
  • painful or difficult urination


Surgery is the most common form of treatment, although radiation may be effective for slow-growing tumors that are detected at an early stage. Removal of the malignant growth and possibly a portion of the penis may be necessary. Enough of the penis can usually be left that is sufficient for sexual activity and urination.

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