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Survival

Find out about survival for different stages of penile cancer.

Survival depends on many factors, so no one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness.

Statistics for this cancer are harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.

Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK wide statistics available for penile cancer survival by stage.

The statistics presented below are from a study that looked at penile cancer survival in one English hospital between 2000 and 2011. Survival depends on whether or not the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes.

N0 cancer

More than 90 out of 100 men with N0 cancer (more than 90%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

N0 penile cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.

N1 cancer

Almost 75 out of 100 men with N1 cancer (almost 75%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

N1 penile cancer has spread to one lymph node in the groin.

N2 cancer

Around 60 out of 100 men with N2 cancer (around 60%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

N2 penile cancer has spread to several groin lymph nodes OR to lymph nodes in both groins.

N3 cancer

Almost 35 out of 100 men with N3 cancer (almost 35%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

N3 penile cancer has spread to lymph node(s) in one or both sides of the pelvis OR the cancer cells in a nearby lymph node have grown into surrounding tissues.

Cancer that has spread (M1)

Unfortunately if the cancer has spread to another part of the body, the outlook is poorer than this. In this study, none of the men with disease that had spread (M1 cancer) survived for 5 years.

Survival for all stages

There are no UK wide statistics available for penile cancer survival. The statistics below are for men diagnosed with penile cancer in England. They are for men diagnosed between 2009 and 2013.

Of all men diagnosed with cancer of the penis

  • around 90 out of every 100 men (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis
  • around 75 out of every 100 men (around 75%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

The type of cancer and grade of the cancer cells can also affect your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and penile cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Last reviewed: 
06 Jul 2016
  • Overall survival
    Cancer Research UK Cancer Statistics
    Penile cancer statistics

  • Survival by stage
    Oncologic Outcomes of Penile Cancer Treatment at a UK Supraregional Center
    R Veeratterapillay and others
    Urology. 2015 May;85(5):1097-101

  • What affects survival
    American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) manual (7th edition)

    S Edge and others
    Springer, 2010

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