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Encyclopedia > Penile cancer
Penile cancer
ICD-10 C60
ICD-O: {{{ICDO}}}
ICD-9 187
MedlinePlus {{{MedlinePlus}}}
eMedicine {{{eMedicineSubj}}}/{{{eMedicineTopic}}}
DiseasesDB {{{DiseasesDB}}}

Penile cancer is a malignant growth found on the skin or in the tissues of the penis, usually originating in the glans and/or foreskin. It is a rare form of cancer with an annual incidence of 1 in 100,000 in developed countries.[1] The following codes are used with International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... // C00-D48 - Neoplasms (C00-C14) Malignant neoplasms, lip, oral cavity and pharynx (C00) Malignant neoplasm of lip (C01) Malignant neoplasm of base of tongue (C02) Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified parts of tongue (C03) Malignant neoplasm of gum (C04) Malignant neoplasm of floor of mouth (C05) Malignant neoplasm of... The International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O) is a domain specific extension of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems for tumor diseases. ... The following is a list of codes for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... The Mendelian Inheritance in Man project is a database that catalogues all the known diseases with a genetic component, and - when possible - links them to the relevant genes in the human genome. ... MedlinePlus (medlineplus. ... eMedicine is an online clinical medical knowledge base that was founded in 1996. ... The Diseases Database is a free website that provides information about the relationships between medical conditions, symptoms, and medications. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... A developed country is a country that is technologically advanced and that enjoys a relatively high standard of living. ...


Risk Factors

The American Cancer Society provides the following as risk factors for penile cancer: human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking, smegma, phimosis, lack of circumcision, treatment of psoriasis, age, and AIDS. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a member of a group of viruses known as the genus Papillomavirus that can infect humans and cause changes in cells leading to abnormal tissue growth. ... Phimosis is a medical condition in which the foreskin of the penis of an uncircumcised male cannot be fully retracted. ... Circumcision is the removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis. ... Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (or acronym AIDS or Aids), is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ...

There is some evidence that lichen sclerosus (also known as balanitis xerotica obliterans) may also be a risk factor.[2] Discussion Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) is a skin disease of unknown origin. ...


While treatment is often easy, the overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of penile cancer is about 50%. Specifically in the United States the lifetime risk of an uncircumcised man for developing invasive penile cancer (IPC) is one in 600 [3], which is in excess of 3 times higher than for males neonatally circumcised.[4][5][6]

The evidence indicates that childhood circumcision reduces the incidence of penile cancer. [7][8][9][10][11][12] Circumcision is the removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis. ...

The American Cancer Society noted in a 1998 statement: The American Cancer Society is a charitable organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. ...

"... penile cancer risk is low in some uncircumcised populations, and circumcision is strongly associated with other socioethnic practices that are associated with lessened risk. The consensus among studies that have taken these other factors into account is that circumcision alone is not the major factor preventing cancer of the penis. It is important that the issue of circumcision not distract the public's attention from avoiding known penile cancer risk factors -- having unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners (increasing the likelihood of human papillomavirus infection) and cigarette smoking."[13]

Studies have found that circumcision decreases the risk of HPV infection in males and thereby the risk of developing penile cancer.[14][15][16]

Wallerstein found that the risk of penile cancer in Finland, Norway, and Denmark (all noncircumcising countries) is about the same (1 in 100,000 per year) as in the U.S.

The American Medical Association and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians say the use of infant circumcision in hope of preventing penile cancer in adulthood is not justified. [17] [18]

Signs and Symptoms

A draining sore on the foreskin or glans of the penis may be a sign of penile cancer and anyone with these symptoms should consult a doctor immediately.


Like many malignancies, penile cancer can spread to other parts of the body. It is usually a primary malignancy, the initial place from which a cancer spreads in the body. Much less often is it a secondary malignancy, where cancer has spread to the organ from other antatomy. Doctors use the extent of metastasis to complete a process called staging. Patients will be assigned a "stage" to aid in treatment decisions and prognosis.

Stage I

  • Cancer has only affected the glans and/or foreskin.

Stage II
The penis (plural penises or penes) or phallus is an external male sexual organ. ...

  • Cancer has spread to the shaft of the penis.

Stage III
The penis (plural penises or penes) or phallus is an external male sexual organ. ...

  • Cancer has affected the penis and surrounding lymph nodes.

Stage IV
Lymph nodes are components of the lymphatic system. ...

  • Cancer has moved beyond the groin area to other parts of the body.


  • Cancer that has returned after treatment.

Prognosis can range considerably for patients, depending where on the scale they have been staged. Generally speaking, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. The overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of penile cancer is about 50%.


There are several treatment options for penile cancer, depending on staging. They include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. The most common treatment is one of four types of surgery: A typical modern surgical operation Surgery (from the Greek cheirourgia meaning hand work) is the medical specialty that treats diseases or injuries by operative manual and instrumental treatment. ... Clinac 2100 C accelerator Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionising radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ... Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to treat disease. ... Immunotherapy is a disease treatment based upon the concept of triggering the bodys own natural defenses to fight off the disease, usually by stimulating the immune system either locally or systemically. ...

Wide Local Excision

  • The tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue are removed.


  • Surgery performed with a microscope is used to remove the tumor and as little healthy tissue as possible.

Laser Surgery

  • Laser light is used to burn or excise cancerous cells.


  • Cancerous foreskin is removed from the penis.


  • The most common and effective treatment of penile cancer is penectomy. A penectomy can range from partial to total removal of the penis. The surgeon may also decide to remove associated lymph nodes.

Radiation therapy is usually used adjuvantly with surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence. With earlier stages of penile cancer, a combination of topical chemotherapy and less invasive surgery may be used. More advanced stages of penile cancer usually require a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.


A bi-valent vaccine to prevent HPV infection has been developed and successfully tested.[19] This vaccine, when it is licenced and goes into production, could substantially reduce the incidence of HPV infection, the incidence of ano-genital cancers, including penile cancer, and reduce mortality.[20]

External links

  • E.J. Schoen, M. Oehrli, C.J. Colby and G. Machin. The Highly Protective Effect of Newborn Circumcision Against Invasive Penile Cancer. Pediatrics 2000;105(3):e36 Full Text
  • C. Maden, K.J. Sherman, A.M. Beckmann, T.G. Hislop, C.Z. Teh, R.L. Ashley and Daling JR. History of Circumcision, Medical Conditions, and Sexual Activity and Risk of Penile Cancer. Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash. [21]
  • M Kochen, S McCurdy. Circumcision and the Risk of Cancer of the Penis. A Life-Table Analysis. From the Program in Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. [22]
  • Boczko S, Freed S. Penile carcinoma in circumcised males. N Y State J Med 1979;79(12):1903-4. Full text
  • Cold CR, Storms MR, Van Howe RS. Carcinoma in situ of the penis in a 76-year-old circumcised man. J Fam Pract 1997;44:407-10. Full text
  • Lehtinen M, Paavonen J. Vaccination against human papillomaviruses shows great promise. Lancet 2004;364:1731-2. Full text


  • Edward Wallerstein. Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy. New York: Springer, 1980: pp. 22, 44, 45, 67, 90, 104-14, 148. (ISBN 0-826-13240-5)
  • Paul M. Fleiss, M.D., and Frederick Hodges, D. Phil. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision. New York, Warner Books, 2002: pp. 150-4. (ISBN 0-446-67880-5)
Tumors (and related structures), Cancer, and Oncology
Benign - Premalignant - Carcinoma in situ - Malignant

Topography: Anus - Bladder - Bone - Brain - Breast - Cervix - Colon/rectum - Duodenum - Endometrium - Esophagus - Eye - Gallbladder - Head/Neck - Liver - Larynx - Lung - Mouth - Pancreas - Penis - Prostate - Kidney - Ovaries - Skin - Stomach - Testicles - Thyroid Tumor (American English) or tumour (British English) originally means swelling, and is sometimes still used with that meaning. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... Oncology is the medical subspecialty dealing with the study and treatment of cancer. ... Benign can refer to any medical condition which, untreated or with symptomatic therapy, will not become life-threatening. ... A premalignant condition is a disease, syndrome, or finding that, if left untreated, may lead to cancer. ... Carcinoma in situ is present when a tumor has been detected that has the characteristics of malignancy but has not invaded other tissues. ... In medicine, malignant is a clinical term that is used to describe a clinical course that progresses rapidly to death. ... Diagram of the stomach, colon, and rectum Colorectal cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ... Cystoscopic view of a papillary bladder tumor (top); the bladder wall is visible on the bottom right Bladder cancer refers to any of several types of malignant growths of the urinary bladder. ... Bone tumor is an inexact term, which can be used for both benign and malignant abnormal growths found in bone, but is most commonly used for primary tumors of bone, such as osteosarcoma (or osteoma). ... A brain tumor is any intracranial mass created by an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells either normally found in the brain itself: neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... Cervical cancer is a malignancy of the cervix. ... Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer or bowel cancer, includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ... Duodenal cancer is a cancer in the beginning section of the small intestine. ... Endometrial cancer involves cancerous growth of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). ... Esophageal cancer is malignancy of the esophagus. ... Cancers can affect the eye. ... Bold textA more uncommon cancer predominate in females, if found early on before symptoms, can be cured by removing Gallbladder, most often it is found after symptoms occur (abdominal pain, Jaundice) and has spread to other organs such as liver and the outlook at this point is poor. ... Head and neck cancers are malignant growths located in the oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, thyroid, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands and lymph nodes of the upper neck. ... Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called hepatoma or liver cancer) is a primary malignancy (cancer) of the liver. ... Cancer of the larynx also may be called laryngeal cancer. ... Lung cancer is a malignant tumour of the lungs. ... Oral cancer involves abnormal, cancer tissue growth in the mouth. ... Pancreatic cancer (also called cancer of the pancreas) is represented by the growth of a malignant tumour within the small pancreas organ. ... Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ... Renal cell carcinoma, also known by the eponym Grawitz tumor, is the most common form of kidney cancer arising from the renal tubule. ... Ovarian cancer is a malignant ovarian neoplasm (an abnormal growth located on the ovaries). ... In medicine (dermatology), there are several different types of cancer referred to under the general label of skin cancer. ... In medicine, stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs. ... Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. ...

Morphology: Papilloma/carcinoma - Adenoma/adenocarcinoma - Soft tissue sarcoma - Melanoma - Fibroma/fibrosarcoma - Lipoma/liposarcoma - Leiomyoma/leiomyosarcoma - Rhabdomyoma/rhabdomyosarcoma - Mesothelioma - Angioma/angiosarcoma - Osteoma/osteosarcoma - Chondroma/chondrosarcoma - Glioma - Lymphoma/leukemia Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus which affects humans. ... In medicine, carcinoma is any cancer that arises from epithelial cells. ... Adenoma refers to a collection of growths (-oma) of glandular origin. ... In medicine, carcinoma is any cancer that arises from epithelial cells. ... Malignant (cancerous) tumors that develop in soft tissue are called sarcomas, a term that comes from a Greek word meaning fleshy growth. ... Skin cancer, close-up of level IV melanoma Melanoma is a malignant tumour of melanocytes . ... Fibroma. ... Fibrosarcoma (fibroblastic sarcoma) is a malignant tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue and characterized by immature proliferating fibroblasts or undifferentiated anaplastic spindle cells. ... A lipoma is a benign tumor composed of fatty tissue. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A leiomyoma (plural is leiomyomata) is a benign smooth muscle neoplasm that is not premalignant. ... A sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. ... A rhabdomyoma is a benign tumor of muscle. ... A rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancer, specifically a sarcoma (cancer of connective tissues), in which the cancer cells arise from skeletal muscle. ... Angiomas are benign tumors that are made up of small blood vessels. ... Angiosarcoma is a rare, malignant tumor consisting of endothelial and fibroblastic tissue that proliferates and eventually surrounds vascular channels. ... An osteoma is a new piece of bone growing on another piece, typically the skull. ... Osteosarcoma is a common primary bone cancer. ... A chondroma is a benign cartilaginous tumor, which is encapsulated with a lobular growing pattern. ... A chondrosarcoma is a cancer of the cartilage. ... A glioma is a type of primary central nervous system (CNS) tumor that arises from glial cells. ... Lymphoma is a general term for a variety of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. ... Leukemia (leukaemia in Commonwealth English) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells (leukocytes). ...

Treatment: Chemotherapy - Radiation therapy - Immunotherapy - Experimental cancer treatment Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to treat disease. ... Clinac 2100 C accelerator Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionising radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ... Cancer Immunotherapy is the use of the immune system to reject cancer. ... Experimental cancer treatments are medical therapies intended or claimed to treat cancer (see also tumor) by improving on, supplementing or replacing conventional methods (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy). ...

Related structures: Cyst - Dysplasia - Hamartoma - Neoplasia - Nodule - Polyp - Pseudocyst This is an article about cysts in the body. ... Dysplasia is a situation where cells have changed from their original mature differentiated type into another mature differentiated cell type as an adaptive response to exposure to chronic irritation, or to a pathogen or carcinogen. ... A hamartoma is an abnormal growth of normal cells. ... Neoplasia (literally: new growth) is abnormal, disorganized growth in a tissue or organ, usually forming a distinct mass. ... In medicine, a nodule refers to a small aggregation of cells. ... Polyp of sigmoid colon as revealed by colonoscopy. ... A pseudocyst is a pathological collection of fluid. ...

Misc: Tumor suppressor genes/oncogenes - Staging/grading - Carcinogenesis/metastasis - Carcinogen - Research - Paraneoplastic phenomenon - ICD-O - List of oncology-related terms A tumor suppressor gene is a gene that reduces the probability that a cell in a multicellular organism will turn into a tumor cell. ... An oncogene is a modified gene that increases the malignancy of a tumor cell. ... The stage of a cancer is a descriptor (usually numbers I to IV) of how much the cancer has spread. ... In pathology, Grading is a measure of the progress of tumors. ... Cancers are caused by a series of mutations. ... Metastasis (Greek: change of the state) is the spread of cancer from its primary site to other places in the body. ... In pathology, a carcinogen is any substance or agent that promotes cancer. ... Cancer research is the intense scientific effort to understand the development of cancer and identify potential therapies. ... A paraneoplastic phenomenon is a disease or symptom that is the consequence of the presence of cancer in the body, but is not due to the local presence of cancer cells. ... The International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O) is a domain specific extension of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems for tumor diseases. ... This is a list of terms related to oncology. ...

  Results from FactBites:
UCH Section of Urology (1377 words)
Penile cancer is rare in the United States (annual incidence of 1-2 per 100,000 men, which translates into 1400 cases yearly).
Penile cancer is associated with exposure to ultraviolet [UV] radiation treatment for psoriasis.
Penile cancer metastasizes in a predictable pattern to inguinal lymph nodes followed by drainage into pelvic lymph nodes (and beyond).
Penile Cancer (1156 words)
Basel cell cancers are the most common form of skin cancer (Read about "Skin Cancer") and account to the vast majority of skin cancers found on places that are exposed to the sun, but account for less that 2 percent of penile cancers.
Cancer cells are found only on the surface of the glans (the head of the penis) and on the foreskin (the loose skin that covers the head of the penis).
Stage II Cancer cells are found in the deeper tissues of the glans and have spread to the shaft of the penis (the long, slender cylinders of tissue inside the penis that contain spongy tissue and expand to produce erections).
  More results at FactBites »



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