Penile cancer is a rare condition in the United States. It is far more common in more underdeveloped areas of the world such a certain parts of Africa and India. It is almost universally seen in uncircumcised men. As with many cancers there are a variety of forms, however, the most common form is called squamous cell carcinoma. Its treatment and prognosis are directly related to the stage of the condition, which relates to the depth of invasion of the cancer into the the penis. Superficial cancers can be treated with local radiation or superficial resection of the lesion (Moh’s resection). Cancers that affect the foreskin only may be treated with circumcision. However invasive cancer is routinely treated with penectomy either partial or total. Superficial tissue resection generally leads to very little impact on sexual function outside of the psychological disturbance associated with the presence of cancer on the penis. It is easy to appreciate that penectomy results in a profound impact on a man’s sexual function. Total penectomy renders men completely incapable of having sexual intercourse or any penis based sexual activity. Partial penectomy, depending on the location of the cancer, may leave the patient with sufficient penile length to participate in some form of sexual activity however it is routinely difficult for men in this situation to have sexual intercourse. Men with this form of cancer generally require significant psychological support to help them overcome the depression associated with loss of penile form and function.
Do you have a personal health story that you would like to share with others? Many people, especially when newly diagnosed, find comfort in knowing that others are having a similar experience. Our story areas are a place to share experiences about living with and treating sexual health issues.
The forums are a resource for everyone to share and discuss their health and medical needs with others, and get answers to medical questions from the leading experts in the field of sexual medicine
Stay updated with our monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter—Get updates about advances in the field, new products and medical trials in your area. Your information will never be shared without your consent.