How is penile cancer treated?
Every patient at Miami Cancer Institute receives a personalized treatment plan put together by our team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional oncologists.
Our philosophy is to find the plan that not only treats the cancer, but also fits you as a patient. Your team will consider your specific diagnosis and type of tumor, the stage of disease, size and location of tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We also work closely with physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychosocial experts to ensure we address any potential side effects of treatment.
Surgery is often the first step to treating penile cancer.
In some cases, surgery may be the only treatment needed for tumors that have not spread beyond the penis.
If the cancer is only in the foreskin, your surgeon may recommend circumcision. If it is located elsewhere on the penis, surgeons may remove the tumor as well as some surrounding tissue. If a small amount of tissue is removed, surgeons will stitch the tissue back together (simple excision). If a larger amount is removed (wide local excision), your surgeon may decide to use a skin graft over the area where he or she removed the tumor and tissue.
If the cancer is more advanced, part or all of the penis may be removed (partial or total penectomy). However, our team will strive to use techniques that conserve as much of the penis as possible. We will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that is both effective and fits your needs as a patient.
Depending on how far the cancer has spread, your surgeon may also decide to remove nearby lymph nodes in the groin. For very advanced tumors, the penis, scrotum and testicles may be removed (emasculation). Patients who undergo this surgery will need to take testosterone supplements for the rest of their lives.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.