Home  >  Health Encyclopedia  >  Cancer Care

Health Encyclopedia

 

Cancer Care



How Does My Doctor Know I Have Penile Cancer?

How Does My Doctor Know I Have Penile Cancer?

In order to find out whether or not you have penile cancer, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your personal history. The physical exam includes checking your penis, testicles, groin, and abdomen.

Your doctor will need to take a biopsy, which is a small sample of tissue. The type of biopsy the doctor does depends on what he or she sees on your genitals. A local anesthetic is usually given for a biopsy. The doctor may do an excisional biopsy, which removes a whole lesion. Or, if the abnormal area is larger than about 1 centimeter (about 3/8 inch), the doctor may do an incisional biopsy, which removes only part of a lesion.

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is another type of biopsy that can be done in a doctor's office or clinic. Doctors often use it to see if enlarged lymph nodes in the groin contain cancer. FNA is not used to take a biopsy from the penis itself. During FNA, you may need local anesthesia injected into your skin of your groin, but you may not need it in some cases. To take the biopsy, your doctor will place a thin needle directly into the lymph node for about 10 seconds and withdraw cells and a few drops of liquid.

After the biopsy, your doctor will send the removed tissue to a pathologist. A pathologist is a specialist who will use a microscope to check the tissue for cancer cells.

If the pathologist finds cancer, your doctor will probably order more tests to help decide which treatment plan would be best for you. These tests can also help stage the cancer to see if it has spread.

 
Related Items
Cancer Source
  What Is Penile Cancer?
  Statistics About Penile Cancer
  Am I At Risk for Penile Cancer?
  Can I Prevent Penile Cancer?
  What Are the Symptoms of Penile Cancer?
  Tests That Help Evaluate Penile Cancer
  What Are the Stages of Penile Cancer?
  What To Know About Your Treatment Choices for Penile Cancer
  What to Know About Surgery for Penile Cancer
  What To Know About Chemotherapy for Penile Cancer
  What to Know About Radiation for Penile Cancer
  Can I Survive Penile Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?
  Tell Your Healthcare Team How You Feel During Treatment for Penile Cancer
  Do What You Can to Ease Side Effects of Treatment for Penile Cancer
Cancer FAQs
  Frequently Asked Questions About Penile Cancer
NCI Patient Summary
  Penile Cancer