What is penile cancer?

Penile cancer is when abnormal cells in the penis start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way. Cancer of the penis is very rare. 

Symptoms of penile cancer

Symptoms of penile cancer can include a growth or sore on your penis, bleeding or a foul smelling discharge. 

Getting diagnosed with penile cancer

You usually start by seeing your GP. They will ask about your symptoms. They might refer you to a specialist and organise tests.

Survival for penile cancer

Find out about survival for different stages of penile cancer.

Treatment for penile cancer

Treatments for penile cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment you have depends on the stage and type of your penile cancer. 

Stages, types and grades of penile cancer

The stage, type and grade of your cancer helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.

Research and clinical trials for penile cancer

Research trials aim to find out if new treatments are safe and better than those currently available for penile cancer.

Living with penile cancer

Coping with penile cancer can be difficult. There are things you can do, people who can help and ways to cope with your diagnosis. 

Risks and causes of penile cancer

Some factors might increase your risk of developing penile cancer. These include the human papilloma virus (HPV), your age and having a tight foreskin (phimosis). 



Last reviewed: 
04 Jan 2024
Next review due: 
04 Jan 2027

Page Credits: 

These sections have been written, reviewed and updated by Cancer Research UK’s Patient Information Web Team. Thanks to the expert medical professionals and people affected by cancer who have helped to review this information.

  • Mr Arie Parnham, Consultant Urologist and Andrologist
  • Clare Akers, Andrology Clinical Nurse Practitioner
  • Our lay reviewers