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Diagnosis

Wilmot Cancer Institute provides the full spectrum of penile cancer care, from initial diagnosis and treatment to recovery and rehabilitation. Wilmot also has a widely respected research program in Urology and GU cancers.

We work in multidisciplinary teams. "Multidisciplinary" means that our care providers include experts with a variety of specialties: surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and clinical researchers. They work together on your case to provide the most personalized care possible.

Symptoms

Getting an accurate diagnosis is essential to getting the best treatment. Many signs of penile cancer are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, see your doctor if you notice any changes in the skin of the penis such as a thickening, lump, ulcer that might bleed, rash, crustiness, sores, smelly discharge, swelling, or lumps anywhere in groin area. If penile can is detected early it can be treated with little or no damage to the penis; however many men avoid or put off going to the doctor when they first notice a problem.

How is penile cancer diagnosed?

Medical history and physical examination: This includes a complete medical history and assessment of risk factors and symptoms. A doctor will also check the penis for signs of disease.

Biopsy: A biopsy involves removing cells or other tissue for examination by a pathologist. This can include removal of the entire abnormal lesion or just a part of it, as well as nearby lymph nodes.

Imaging: This includes x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans, which provide detailed pictures of the suspected cancer and can also show if it has spread.

Ultrasound: This is another way to make internal pictures but it uses sound waves, which are converted to images on a computer. It’s useful to determine how deeply the cancer has spread.