Types of Penile Cancer

Once the tissue samples from the surgery have been analyzed by the histo-pathologist, (tissue specialist), it will be possible to determine what sort of penile cancer is present.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma 95% of penile cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cells are skin cells that can become cancerous. They can become cancerous on any part of the penis but usually develop on or under the foreskin. This type of cancer has the potential to spread to other areas around the penis and sometimes other parts of the body and is usually treated aggressively. A rarer form of this cancer is called Veruccous carcinoma, which tends to be less aggressive.
  • Basal cell penile cancer Basal cells are skin cells from the outer lining of the skin which may become cancerous. Less than 2% of penile cancers are basal cell cancers.
  • Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in melanocytes, the cells that make the brownish color in the skin that helps protect it from the sun. These cancers tend to grow and spread quickly and are more dangerous than the more common types of skin cancer. Melanomas are most often found in sun-exposed skin, but rarely they occur in other areas like the penis. Only a very small portion of penile cancers are melanomas
  • Sarcoma About 1% of penile cancers are sarcomas, which are cancers that develop in the tissues that support and connect the body, such as blood vessels, muscle, and fat.