Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Chat live online
Select the Live Chat button at the bottom of the page
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
Donations, website, or event-related assistance
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
The exact cause of most penile cancers is not known. But scientists have found that it's linked with a number of other conditions. Research is being done around the world to learn more about how these risk factors might cause cells of the penis to become cancer.
For instance, research has shown that normal cells control themselves by making substances called tumor suppressor gene products to keep them from growing too fast and becoming cancers. Two proteins (E6 and E7) made by high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) can block the way tumor suppressor gene products work in cells. This allows the cells to start growing out of control, which might make them more likely to become cancer.
Tobacco use has been linked to penile cancer. It creates cancer-causing chemicals that spread throughout the body and can damage the DNA inside cells, such as the cells of the penis. DNA is the chemical in our cells that makes up our genes. (Genes control how our cells grow and divide.) When DNA damage affects the genes that control cell growth, it can lead to cancer.