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What is the Treatment for Penile Cancer?

Explore surgery, radiation, medication, cryotherapy, and immunotherapy for treating penile cancer. Early detection is vital for successful outcomes.

  • 08 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 17 views

Penile cancer refers to the cancer of the penis in males. It is a rare form of cancer whose incidence rate varies significantly depending upon various factors. It is more common in less developed countries than in developed countries. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for those who have been diagnosed with this cancer. In this article, we'll discuss the different forms of penile cancer treatment. Understanding these treatments better gives you more confidence as you approach your next steps towards beating this disease.

Treatment of Penile Cancer

The penile cancer treatment approach majorly depends on the stage of the cancer and the time of diagnosis.  The following treatment options are recommended: 

  • Surgical management of penile cancer: Surgery is often the mainstay of penile cancer treatment, provided the cancer is still in the primary stage. This method has proven to give rapid definitive results with a low recurrence rate. Depending upon the stage of the disease, organ sparing and glan-sparing surgery is done. Moh’s microsurgery is performed to remove small-sized tumours in layers. Limited excision and laser ablation of penile lesions are also done wherever feasible. Advanced-stage penile cancer treatment includes more extensive surgical procedures and total penectomy (removal of part of or entire penis) if needed. In advanced-stage patients, penile cancer cells spread to the neighbouring lymph nodes. Thus, surgery is also performed to manage those lymph nodes. 
  • Radiation therapy: In this therapy, high-energy X-rays and other radiations are used to destroy cancer cells or limit the growth of the tumour. It can be given as external radiation therapy from outside the body or as internal radiation therapy, where radiation is targetted within the body.     
  • Medication: Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs are used to either destroy the cancer cells or to stop them from dividing. The drugs can be given either orally or through an injection afterwards, as they reach the cancer cells via the bloodstream. Medicated creams are also available to be applied topically to the skin. The method of administration of the chemotherapeutic drug depends upon the stage of penile cancer.
  • Cryotherapy: This is also known as cryosurgery, where the cancerous cells are removed by freezing and excising them via a special instrument.   
  • Immunotherapy: Immune modulating agents that strengthen the immune system to fight cancer are used in immunotherapy. 
  • Future therapies: Therapies like radiosensitisation can be employed, which is a technique where specific drugs are used to sensitise cancer cells to radiotherapy for better outcomes. Similarly, sentinel lymph node biopsy can be done to improve surgical treatment outcome. 

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Conclusion

In conclusion, penile cancer is a treatable medical condition, though it can remain undetected for some time due to its obscuring symptoms. Seeking early and adequate treatment is essential for successful outcomes. Moreover, having an appropriate health insurance plan can help reduce financial pressure on people going through penile cancer treatment. To get complete information regarding penile cancer and its treatments, speak to your doctor today. 

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