10. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cells are the thin, flat cells that make up the outer layer of the skin. The majority of penile cancers start in these cells in the epidermis of the penis. Many of them begin on the foreskin of uncircumcised men. They may also develop on the glans, or head, of the penis. Verrucous carcinoma, also known as Buschke-Lowenstein tumor, is a squamous cell tumor that resembles genital warts. Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is the earliest stage of squamous cell penile cancer. CIS of the shaft of the penis is called Bowen disease.
Melanocytes are the skin cells that produce the melanin that darkens your skin to protect it from the sun. When the DNA of the melanocytes is damaged, usually by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, mutations occur causing the skin cells to rapidly divide and form cancerous tumors. While melanoma most frequently occurs in skin that is exposed to the sun, it can form in other areas, such as the penis. This type of penile cancer is very rare.
8. Basal Cell Carcinoma
Another form of cancer that can, very rarely, affect the penis is basal cell carcinoma. This cancer forms in the very deepest layer of the skin’s epidermis, in the basal cells. Basal cell carcinoma appears as open sores, shiny red bumps or patches, or pink growths. This type of cancer does not tend to spread from one region of the body to another.