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Screening

There is no national screening programme for penile cancer in the UK. This is because:

  • penile cancer is rare, so many people would have unnecessary tests
  • the benefits don't outweigh the costs

What is screening?

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease. This is before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • need to be reliable at picking up cancers
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
  • must be something that people are willing to do

Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.

What to do if you think you’re at risk

Talk to your GP if you think you’re at higher risk of penile cancer.

Last reviewed: 
21 Oct 2020
Next review due: 
21 Oct 2023
  • Penile Cancer Guidelines
    OW Hakenberg and others
    European Association of Urology, 2018

  • Epidemiology and natural history of penile cancer
    MR​ Pow-Sang and others
    Urology, 2010. Volume 76, Issue 2

  • Cancer Incidence from Cancer Intelligence Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK (2015 - 2017 UK average) 
    Accessed September 2020