Penile cancer is a malignant growth found on the skin or in the tissues of the penis. Around 95% of penile cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Other types of penile cancer, such as Merkel cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, melanoma and other are generally rare.
Like many malignancies, penile cancer can spread to other parts of the body. It is usually a primary malignancy, the initial place from which a cancer spreads in the body.
Much less often it is a secondary malignancy, one in which the cancer has spread to the penis from elsewhere. The staging of penile cancer is determined by the extent of tumor invasion, nodal metastasis, and distant metastasis
- HIV infection—HIV-positive men have eightfold increased risk of developing penile cancer than HIV-negative men.
- Human papillomavirus—HPV is a risk factor in the development of penile cancer.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is responsible for about 800 (about 40%) of 1,570 cases of penile cancer diagnosed annually in the United States. There are more than 120 types of HPV.
- Genital warts—Genital or perianal warts increase the risk of invasive penile cancer by about 3.7 times if they occurred more than two years before the reference date. About half of men with penile cancer also have genital warts, which are caused by HPV