Cancer of the penis is a disease in which malignant cells
originate in the tissues of the penis. Cancer of the penis is, fortunately,
rare. Men who are not circumcised at birth have a higher risk for developing
cancer of the penis.
If the tumor begins in the glans and involves other tissues, treatment may involve: microsurgery or amputation of the penis (partial penectomy); the lymph nodes in the groin may also be removed; external radiation therapy.
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).
Cancer cells are found in the penis and have spread to
nearby lymph nodes in the groin. (Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures
that are found throughout the body; they produce and store infection-fighting
Cancer cells are found throughout the penis and the lymph
nodes in the groin and/or have spread to other parts of the body.
Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the same area or in another place.
If the cancer has come back (recurred), treatment may
include amputation of the penis or radiation therapy. Locally recurrent
disease can be approached by surgery or radiation therapy. Patients who
fail irradiation as the initial treatment are often salvaged by penile
amputation. There are treatments for all patients with cancer of the penis.
Three kinds of treatment used are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy uses x-rays or other high-energy rays
to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine
outside the body (external radiation) or from putting materials that contain
radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells
are (internal radiation). Radiation may be used alone or after surgery.
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