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Prognosis of penile cancer

The prognosis for squamous epithelial cancer on the penis depends on the type of tumor (see Table), extent of the tumor (T stage) at diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Early diagnosis of malignant conditions is important.  

  • For localized cancer without metastasis, the 5 year survival is about 80%.
  • With metastasis to the groin but not the pelvic nodes, radical surgery of lymph nodes can cure the disease (5 year survival is 40-50%). 
  • If pelvic nodes are invaded, it may still be possible for successful surgery to cure the disease (5 year survival is 20%).

Recent publications show that the different variants of squamous cell carcinomas in the penis can be divided into three risk groups.

Risk groups at squamous cell carcinoma
Low risk Intermediary risk
High risk
Usual type, grade 1
Usual type, grade 2
Usual type, grade 3
Papillary carcinoma
Condylomatous carcinoma
Verrucous carcinoma
Pseudohyperplastic carcinoma.



Five-year relative survival for patients with penile cancer, in percent, during the diagnosis period 1974–2013.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway


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