Penile cancer

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Treatments for stage 3 penile cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 3 penile cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the main treatment for stage 3 penile cancer. The types of surgery used are:

Partial or total penectomy is surgery that removes part or all of the penis.

Lymph node dissection may be used to remove lymph nodes that have cancer.

Radiation therapy

You may be offered radiation therapy for stage 3 penile cancer. The type of radiation therapy is external beam radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be given:

  • to the penis
  • to the groin area to treat lymph nodes
  • at the same time as chemotherapy
  • after surgery (adjuvant therapy)
  • instead of surgery for men who are unable to have surgery or choose not to

Drug therapy

Chemotherapy is sometimes offered for stage 3 penile cancer. Chemotherapy may be given:

  • at the same time as radiation therapy (called chemoradiation)
  • before surgery to shrink the tumour
  • after surgery

Clinical trials

Some clinical trials in Canada are open to men with penile cancer. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

adjuvant therapy

Treatment given in addition to the first-line therapy (the first or standard treatment) to help reduce the risk of a disease (such as cancer) coming back (recurring).

Adjuvant therapy is often given when doctors do not know for sure if any cancer cells remain in the body after the first-line therapy.


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