Penile cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the penis. Cancers of the penis in the UK are rare, however, the incidence of these malignancies is higher in parts of South America, Africa and Asia.1
When the condition is diagnosed, it can be psychologically devastating to the man. In its early stage this cancer is slow growing, as it rarely interferes with voiding or erectile function, men do not complain until pain or a discharge from the cancer occurs. By the time men seek help, the cancer has usually progressed from being superficial to invasive.
The anatomy of the penis
The penis is the male sex organ. It reaches its full size during puberty. As well as its sexual function, the penis acts as a conduit for urine as it leaves the body.
The penis is composed of several parts:
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