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Penile cancer

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Penile cancer is a rare cancer that mostly affects the skin of the penis. It’s most common in men over 50. It’s more treatable if found early.

The main symptoms of penile cancer include changes to the skin of the penis, such as growths and bumps, changing skin colour or a rash.

Penile cancer can be caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common virus you can get from sex or skin-to-skin contact of the genital area.

It’s not always possible to prevent penile cancer. Having the HPV vaccine, using a condom during sex and quitting smoking may help.

The main test to diagnose penile cancer is a biopsy, which means taking a sample of the affected area to check for cancer.

Penile cancer is more treatable if found early. Treatments include creams, laser treatment, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Penile cancer is more treatable if found early. Treatments include creams, laser treatment, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Page last reviewed: 09/03/2021
Next review due: 09/03/2024