Penile Cancer

When the damage is small, the problem can be treated by laser or cryopexy with minimal side effects.

What is it?

Penile cancer is a rare malignancy, with a frequency of 0,1-0,9 cases in 100.000 men in western societies, but with more frequent occurrence in underdeveloped areas where the local health conditions are non-existent.

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Which are the causes?

  • Chronic irritation caused by the sebum naturally produced in the area (particularly in co-existence with phimosis)
  • Papillomas (HPV)
  • Smoking

What are the symptoms?

The man must begin to suspect some damage, when he observes an induration on the penile surface which does not change form or perhaps is growing.  In older people, this damage can be widespread. The damage usually appears in the glans or in the foreskin.

Other symptoms are itchiness, burning and rarely bleeding in the area. At the initial stages, no pain appears and patients, feeling uncomfortable, do not visit their doctor.

How is it diagnosed?

  • Usually painless damage to the penis, like an ulcer or cauliflower. In neglected cases, as in elderly persons, the damage can be very extended.
  • Final diagnosis is done with a biopsy of the damage.
  • Early diagnosis is very important for the treatment of penile cancer.

Which is the suitable treatment?

When the damage is small, the problem can be faced with laser or cryopexy with minimal side effects.

For larger damages, they will have to be surgically removed, with or without removing a part of the penis (partial penectomy) or sometimes the whole organ.

At the same time, lymph node removal from the groin or even the pelvis may be necessary.

The operation may be combined with radiation and chemotherapy for the more effective treatment of the disease.

Penile cancer is a rare malignancy, with a frequency of 0,1-0,9 cases in 100.000 men in western societies but more frequent occurrence in underdeveloped areas, where health conditions are non-existent.

Before & After the Operation

In laser operations preparation is easy, as is the patient’s progress after the operation, as the man returns immediately to his daily life.

In partial penectomy surgery, first the pre-operative control will take place with blood tests, x-rays and cardiograms. In some cases, you may have to stop medication.

Anesthesia is usually general and after the penectomy a urinary catheter is inserted for a few days. Patients take painkillers for any possible pain and they are prescribed antibiotics and then are discharged to go home.

After two weeks you may start exercising again.

In the case of total penectomy, you will be given specific instructions by the doctor about the way to urinate and regarding the possibility of additional treatment.

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Vasilis Protogerou

Dimitrios Mporousas

Konstantinos Makarounis