Penile cancer is a rare form of cancer that occurs anywhere along the shaft of the penis. Because the penis contains several types of tissues including the skin, nerves, smooth muscle and blood vessels, there are different types of penile cancer that may develop within these cells.
The following are the most common types of penile cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma – Almost 95% of all penile cancers develop from the flat skins cells called squamous cells. Squamous cell cancer is typically found on the foreskin in uncircumcised men or on the glans, or head of the penis, so these cancers only occur in uncircumcised men.
- Adenocarcinoma – Adenocarcinoma is a very rare type of penile cancer that develops from sweat glands in the skin of the penis.
- Melanomas – Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the melanocytes – the cells that produce skin pigment. These cancers tend to grow rapid and spread rapidly to other parts of the body. Less than 2% of penile cancers are melanomas.
- Basal cell penile cancer – Basal cell penile cancer is a type of skin cancer that develops on the penis. It is slow-growing and rarely spreads to other body parts.
- Sarcomas – An extremely rare type of penile cancer caused by the development of malignant cells in the sarcomas which include blood vessels, smooth muscle and other connective tissues.
To gauge the seriousness of the disease and plan for the best treatment as possible to spare the penis, the urology department at Loma Linda University Medical Center will work alongside the patient to determine which type of cancer is present and the best course treatment.
Penile cancer starts on the glans (head), or tip, of the penis and spreads from there. The urologists at Loma Linda University Medical Center recommend checking with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Genital lesions (flat or wart-like) on the penis
- Painless sore on penis
- Penis pain and bleeding
- A reddish rash
- Persistent, smelly discharge under the foreskin
- A foreskin that cannot be retracted to expose the glans (head) of the penis
Contact Us & Learn More
To learn more about penile cancer at Loma Linda University Medical Center, please call us today at (909) 558-2830, or visit the links below for more information: