Surgery to remove the cancer is the most common treatment for penile cancer. A doctor may take out the cancer using one of the following operations:
- Wide local excision takes out only the cancer and some normal tissue on either side.
- Electrodessication and curettage removes the cancer by scraping the tumor with a curette (thin, long instrument with a scraping edge) and applying an electric current to the area to kill cancer cells.
- Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill the cancer cells.
- Microsurgery (Moh's surgery) is an operation that removes the cancer and as little normal tissue as possible. During this surgery, the doctor uses a microscope to look at the cancerous area to make sure all the cancer cells are removed.
- Laser surgery uses a narrow beam of light to remove cancer cells.
- Circumcision is an operation that removes the foreskin.
- Amputation of the penis (penectomy) is an operation that removes the penis. It is the most common and most effective treatment of cancer of the penis. In a partial penectomy, part of the penis is removed. In a total penectomy, the whole penis is removed. Lymph nodes in the groin may be taken out during surgery.
Radiation, which uses high-energy rays to attack cancer, and chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer, are other treatment options.
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