ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with penile cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.
Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with this cancer and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original sources for these statistics are provided at the bottom of this page.
How many people are diagnosed with penile cancer?
Penile cancer can be a deadly disease but usually is not. In 2023, an estimated 2,050 people in the United States will be diagnosed with penile cancer. Penile cancer is uncommon in North America and Europe. In the United States, the disease makes up less than 1% of all cancer diagnosed in men. Many cases of penile cancer are related to the human papillomavirus or HPV (see Risk Factors and Prevention to learn more). Penile cancer is found more often in certain parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. Worldwide, an estimated 36,068 people were diagnosed with penile cancer in 2020.
It is estimated about 470 people in the United States will die from the disease in 2023. In 2020, an estimated 13,211 people worldwide died from penile cancer.
What is the survival rate for penile cancer?
There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from penile cancer. These are called survival statistics. A specific type of survival statistic is called the relative survival rate. It is often used to predict how having cancer may affect life expectancy. Relative survival rate looks at how likely people with penile cancer are to survive for a certain amount of time after their initial diagnosis or start of treatment compared to the expected survival of similar people without this cancer.
Example: Here is an example to help explain what a relative survival rate means. Please note this is only an example and not specific to this type of cancer. Let’s assume that the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific type of cancer is 90%. “Percent” means how many out of 100. Imagine there are 1,000 people without cancer, and based on their age and other characteristics, you expect 900 of the 1,000 to be alive in 5 years. Also imagine there are another 1,000 people similar in age and other characteristics as the first 1,000, but they all have the specific type of cancer that has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. This means it is expected that 810 of the people with the specific cancer (90% of 900) will be alive in 5 years.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with penile cancer are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.
The 5-year relative survival rate for penile cancer in the United States is 65%.
The survival rates for penile cancer vary based on several factors. These include the stage of cancer, a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works.
The 5-year relative survival rate for people with penile cancer that has not spread when it is first diagnosed is 79%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 51%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 9%.
Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for penile cancer every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how penile cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the websites of the American Cancer Society and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. (All sources accessed March 2023.)
The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It describes the factors that may increase the chance of developing penile cancer and what may lower your risk. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.