Other treatments for penile cancer
The main treatments for penile cancer include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Your doctor may recommend treatment with lasers or creams for very early penile cancer, or penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PeIN).
Your surgeon uses a powerful beam of light that acts like a knife. It cuts away the cancer cells but doesn't go too deep into the tissue. You have a local or general anaesthetic. If you have a general anaesthetic you are asleep for the whole operation.
Chemotherapy cream only kills the cancer cells in the area of skin treated. Doctors use it for PeIN, or small early stage cancer on the foreskin or end of the penis. It is called topical chemotherapy.
You usually have your foreskin removed (circumcision) before you have topical creams.
The chemotherapy drug in the cream is fluorouracil (5FU). Or it could be a cream called imiquimod. Imiquimod uses the immune system to fight cancer.
You put the cream on the cancerous area, every day for several weeks. The cream only kills cancer cells in the top layers of the skin. It doesn't treat deeper cancers.
Your skin might become sore, red and inflamed when using chemotherapy cream. Tell your doctor or nurse if this happens. They can give you other creams and painkillers to help. These side effects should wear off within a couple of weeks after stopping treatment.
You don't lose your hair with chemotherapy creams.