Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumor and how much it has spread.
In general, cancer treatment includes:
- Chemotherapy -- uses medicines to kill cancer cells
- Radiation -- using high powered x-rays to kill cancer cells
- Surgery - cuts out and removes the cancer
If the tumor is small or near the tip of the penis, surgery may be done to remove only the cancerous part of the penis. Depending on the exact location, this is called a glansectomy or partial penectomy. Laser surgery may be used to treat some tumors.
For more severe tumors, total removal of the penis (total penectomy) is often necessary. A new opening will be created in the groin area to allow urine to exit the body. This procedure is called a urethrostomy.
Chemotherapy may be used along with surgery. Cisplatin, ifosfamide, and paclitaxel are usually used for treating penile cancer.
Radiation therapy is often recommended in combination with surgery. A type of radiation therapy called external beam therapy is often used. This method delivers radiation to the penis from outside the body. External beam radiation therapy is usually performed 5 days a week for 6 - 8 weeks.