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Stage 1

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. It helps your doctor to plan the best treatment for you.

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it has spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.

Stage 1 is part of the number staging system and means your cancer has grown into the tissue below the top layers of the skin of the penis. It hasn’t grown into the blood or lymph vessels, or nerves. The cancer is not high grade (grade 3).

It has not spread to the lymph nodes or distant parts of the body.

Stage 1 is the same as T1a, N0, M0 in the TNM staging system.


The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:

  • your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
  • where the cancer is
  • other health conditions that you have

Surgery is the main treatment for stage 1 penile cancer. You might have surgery alone or a combination of other treatments.

If the cancer is only in the foreskin you might have removal of the foreskin (circumcision).

You might have the following treatments if your cancer is elsewhere on the penis :

  • removal of the cancer and a surrounding area of tissue (wide excision)
  • removal of part of the penis (partial penectomy)
  • radiotherapy to the penis
  • laser treatment

Other stages

Last reviewed: 
16 Dec 2020
Next review due: 
16 Dec 2023
  • American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Manual (8th edition)

    S Edge and others (editors)

    Springer, 2017

  • Guidelines on Penile Cancer
    OW Hakenberg and others
    European Association of Urology (EAU), 2018

  • Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology (11th Edition)

    VT DeVita, TS Lawrence and SA Rosenberg

    Wolters Kluwer, 2019