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Carcinoma of the penis: Surgical and medical treatment

Curtis A Pettaway, MD
Section Editor
Jerome P Richie, MD, FACS
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


Cancers of the penis are rare in the United States, Europe, and other industrialized countries. However, the incidence of penile carcinoma is much higher in parts of South America, Africa, and Asia. (See "Carcinoma of the penis: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathology".)

The surgical and medical treatment of penile cancer is reviewed here. The epidemiology, clinical presentation, staging, and diagnosis of penile carcinoma are discussed separately. (See "Carcinoma of the penis: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathology" and "Carcinoma of the penis: Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging".)


The Tumor, Nodes, Metastasis (TNM) staging system is used for staging carcinoma of the penis (table 1). (See "Carcinoma of the penis: Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging".)

Following initial evaluation, staging and treatment of the primary lesion and of the regional nodes are performed separately. Our approach is as follows:

For men with an operable primary tumor, treatment depends on whether the lesion is associated with a low or high risk of recurrence. Men with a low risk of recurrence are candidates for organ-preserving treatment. In general, men with a high risk of recurrence should be treated by penile amputation. (See 'Treatment of the primary tumor' below.)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Apr 27, 2015.
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