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Can I Prevent Penile Cancer?

no smoking
To lower your risk of getting penile cancer, don't smoke.

There is no definite way to prevent cancer of the penis. These are some things you can do that may lower your risks:

  • Practice safe sex and limit the number of sexual partners to minimize contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). It is not yet clear if getting the HPV vaccine can reduce the risk of penile cancer. 

  • Don’t smoke.

  • Follow good personal hygiene habits. If you have a foreskin (have not been circumcised), retract the foreskin and clean under it every day. 

Can I get checked for penile cancer before I have symptoms?

No standard screening process is used to check for penile cancer. However, you can help protect yourself by routinely checking for any skin changes, such as warts, sores, ulcers, white patches, or blisters. Many men may not see a health care provider about such changes because of embarrassment or other reasons. If you notice any changes on the skin of your foreskin, glans, or shaft of your penis, you should tell your health care provider right away. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 11/10/2013
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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