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Penile Cancer Risk Factors

August 5th, 2015

Penile Cancer Risk Factors

Penile Cancer Risk Factors

Penile Cancer is a rather rare form of cancer, but has been associated with specific penile cancer risk factors. The following are the most prominent factors which will increase the likelihood that a man will develop a penile tumor.

Human Papillomavirus SymptomsHPV

HPV stands for the viruses known as Human Papiloma, which include about 100 related types which cause a growth of papilloma; commonly known as warts. The growths are not cancerous, but the virus has been found in approximately 50% of the cases of penile cancer. HPV is passed from one person to another from skin on skin contact. This is a common condition which affects about 50% of men over the age of 18. If the infection becomes chronic, it can create a potential risk for penile cancer.

Uncircumcised Men

Men who have not been circumcised have been found to be at a higher risk for penile cancer. Reasons for this include more difficulty keeping the area clean, the removal of the possibility that a man can develop smegma or phimosis.


This is a condition in men who are not circumcised where the foreskin becomes tighter and more difficult to retract.

Phimosis and Paraphimosis ImageSmegma

This is a condition where secretions build up under the foreskin. The secretions are a buildup of the oil from the skin, dead skin cells and growing bacteria which can cause an unpleasant smell. This is due to improper cleaning of the penis and foreskin. Scientists believe that the inflammation and irritation can contribute to the development of cancer.


Men who smoke have been found to be more likely to develop penile cancer. Harmful substances are inhaled when smoking and then are transported into the blood. Those substances can cause cancer in cells throughout various parts of the body and damage functioning of the immune system.


When men reach the age of 55, they are more likely to develop penile cancer.


AIDS has been found to cause an increased occurrence of penile cancer, as it causes a lowered immune system response.
These factors can all contribute to the development of penile cancer. The controllable factors should be removed from the lifestyle in order to reduce your chances of illness. A common denominator of all these factors is the effect on the immune system, so efforts can be made to increase immune function and prevent penile cancer.

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