The penis consists of the skin, connective tissue, the erectile bodies and the urethra.
Penile cancer is usually a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and they usually arise from the epithelium layer of the foreskin or the body of the penis.
Penile cancer is rare in the developed world and are more common in less developed areas of the world. It is typically a disease of older men, with the mean age of diagnosis being 60 years. However, it can also be seen in men less than 40 years.
Penile cancer usually presents as a mass or ulcer on the penis. It is usually painless and there may be bleeding or discharge associated with it. Penile tumours can occur anywhere on the penis, but most are found on the glans (48%) and on the foreskin (21%).
Phimosis - Phimosis, also known as when the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis, is associated with a 11 to 16-fold risk of penile cancer due to associated chronic infection.
Lichen sclerosis - Lichen sclerosis, also known as chronic inflammatory skin disorder, is a risk factor for the development of penile cancer.
HPV infection - Penile cancer is more common in areas of the world that have a high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Multiple sexual partners and early age of first intercourse - This is associated with a 3 – 5 fold increased risk of penile cancer.
Smoking - Cigarette smoking is associated with a 5 fold increased risk of penile cancer compare to non-smokers.
Click here to find out more about the teatments and services available.