Penile Cancer Symptoms

What is Penile Cancer?
The penile cancer affects the penis. It is an exceptional type of cancer which is found in one or two men in 100,000.

The penile cancer happens when the malignant cells start growing in the tissues or cells present in the penis. It is mostly found under the foreskin or in the glans. The penile cancer under the foreskin is detected mostly in men who have not undergone circumcision.

In US 1290 new penile and other related cancer cases are reported in 2009. 300 deaths are also reported from penile and other male genital cancers. Men who are above the age of 40 and not circumcised are at a higher risk of getting penile cancer.

The penis

Penis is the male reproductive external genital organ. The urinal tube and semen exiting tube called urethra is situated inside the penis. The tip of the penis is called glans and it is coated by a loose skin known as foreskin.

Penile Cancer Symptoms
The penile cancers and other male genital cancers might be considered as a form of skin cancer. It might be cured if it has been diagnosed in the early stages. The below mentioned symptoms might show up in the case of genital herpes or other related diseases. It is favorable to clean the area under the foreskin regularly, have safe sex and to consult a specialist if there is any irregularity in the penis.

The primary symptoms of penile cancer are:

  • Growth of the penis which is not painful
  • Red colored velvety rashes
  • Swelling of glans and foreskin
  • Continual stinking under the foreskin
  • Wart like development on the area
  • Discolouration of the penis
  • Change in colour of the foreskin
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin which is extremely an unusual symptom

Facts and Statistics on Penile Cancer:

  • According to the American Cancer Society, there were nearly 1,290 new cases of penile cancer diagnosed and approximately 300 men lost their lives because of penile cancer in 2009 in the United States.
  • This type of cancer occurs in 1 man in 100,000 in this country.
  • Depending upon the type of cell affected by cancer, there are five types of this cancer.
  • They are squamous cell cancer of the penis, adenocarcinoma, melanoma, basal cell cancer and sarcoma of the penis.
S.No. Type of Penile Cancer Prevalence Percent of Total Penile Cancer Cases
Squamous Cell Cancer
9 out of 10
5 in 100
2 in 100
Basal Cell
2 in 100
1 in 100
  • Squamous cell cancer develops mostly in the head of the penis or the foreskin.
  • A rare type of the squamous cell cancer is known as verrucous carcinoma which can spread the disease to other parts of the body.
  • Adenocarcinoma cancer originates in the sweat glands of the penis and later spreads even to the lymph nodes.
  • Both the above mentioned cancers spread slowly, providing relatively more time for early diagnosis.
  • Melanoma cancer affects the cells which are responsible for giving skin colour to penis. It is a rapidly growing cancer type.
  • Basal cell cancer affects the deepest layers of the penis and progresses slowly, rarely spreading to other parts of the body.
  • It is an extremely rare and fast spreading cancer affecting the bone, muscle, fat and cartilage which support the penis.
  • Men above the age of 60 years, suffering from a condition called phimosis, with poor personal hygiene, having multiple sexual partners and who smoke are at higher risk of developing penile cancer.
  • Men who have not undergone circumcision also have the risk of developing a condition called the human papillomavirus infection (HPV) which increases the chances of developing this disease.

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