If penile cancer is found early, it can be treated with success and low risk. If the tumor is on top of the skin, it may be treated with a skin cream. This cream has few side effects. External beam radiation is also a therapy for small lesions.
If the lesion is larger, but still about the size of a pea, a small local excision or “Moh’s surgery” may be done. This is a type of surgery where layers of abnormal tissue are shaved off until normal tissue is reached. With both of these methods, the penis should still look normal and work as usual. But careful follow-up is vital to check for early recurrence. With small lesions, it’s not likely that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. For this reason, it’s often not necessary to remove the lymph nodes.
With larger lesions, more tissue needs to be removed. Your surgeon will also consider taking out or draining lymph nodes in the groin. A mix of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy may be needed. In cases where the cancer is more advanced, the whole penis may need to be removed.
Early detection is very important. It not only ensures better results, but there are more treatment options.