Penile cancer is cancer that begins in or on the penis. The most common cancer of the penis is squamous cell carcinoma (95%) which develops on the skin of the penis. These occur almost exclusively in uncircumcised males and most often develop in the foreskin or the glans (head) of the penis. Most of the time these grow very slowly and if found at an early stage can be curable. In some situations, men are embarrassed about a growth on their penis and wait for long periods of time before coming in to see a doctor. In these situations the cancer may be more advanced and invade below the skin. It is important to come in and be evaluated if you are concerned about a possible growth.
For early stage penile cancer that is just in the outermost skin, topical chemotherapy treatments, laser surgery, or surgical excision may be an option. If the cancer has invaded through the skin and into the urethra or the erectile portion of the prostate, sometimes a larger excision may be required and a portion of the penis may need to be removed as well as lymph nodes in your groin. In very advanced cases, sometimes the entire penis may need to be removed.