Diagnosing Penile Cancer

Explore advanced penile cancer treatment options available in China.

Why going to China for cancer treatment?

Penile cancer is a condition characterized by the abnormal growth of malignant cells in the tissues of the penis. It can manifest as lumps, sores, or changes in the skin of the penis. Early identification of penile cancer is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, early detection allows for timely medical intervention, which can improve treatment outcomes and increase the chances of successful recovery. Secondly, identifying penile cancer early may enable less invasive treatment options, potentially reducing the need for extensive surgery or aggressive therapies. Lastly, early diagnosis provides individuals with the opportunity to receive appropriate support and counseling, addressing any emotional or psychological challenges associated with the diagnosis. Therefore, raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of penile cancer and promoting regular medical check-ups are essential for timely detection and effective management of this condition.

How is penile cancer diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may perform the following to determine whether you have cancer:

  • Physical exam and history: Your healthcare provider will examine you to check for unusual skin changes, like a lump or discoloration on your penis. They’ll also ask about your symptoms, habits and past illnesses. This information can help your healthcare provider determine whether the changes likely result from cancer or a more common cause like an infection or allergic reaction.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is the only way to confirm a cancer diagnosis. During the procedure, your healthcare provider removes suspicious-looking cells or tissues. A specialist who works in a lab (pathologist) views the cells under a microscope to check for signs of cancer.
  • Imaging: You may need imaging to see how much the cancer’s spread. Depending on your cancer, your healthcare provider may order a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, PET scan, or chest X-ray.

What are the stages of penile cancer?

Imaging helps your healthcare provider stage your cancer. Cancer staging allows them to classify how serious cancer is, based on the size of a tumor and how much it’s spread throughout your body. This information guides treatment decisions.

Penile cancer is staged using the TNM staging system. Each letter provides unique information about your cancer.

  • T (Tumor): “T” provides information about your tumor, including whether the cancer cells have formed a tumor and (if so) how much it’s grown into your penis.
  • N (Lymph nodes): “N” provides information about whether the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes. If it has, your healthcare provider can note which lymph nodes are affected.
  • M (Metastasize): “M” provides information about whether the cancer has spread to other organs in your body. If it has, your healthcare provider can note which organs are affected.

Numbers following the letters (TNM) provide additional information about the tumor, lymph nodes affected and whether the cancer has metastasized. The numbers range from 1 to 4, with 1 meaning less cancer spread and 4 meaning the most spread (metastasis).

Cancer staging can be complex, but it communicates important information about how serious your condition is. Talk to your healthcare provider about what stage of cancer you have. Ask about what your cancer stage means for your treatment and likely outcomes.

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