Penile Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Factors

A Contemporary Review

Antoin Douglawi; Timothy A. Masterson


Curr Opin Urol. 2019;29(2):145-149. 

In This Article

Epidemiological Factors

Penile cancer is rare in western countries with an incidence of 0.3–0.6 per 100 000 in the United States and United Kingdom.[5] Incidence rates vary dramatically among different populations with less developed nations having the highest incidence. The largest disease burden is concentrated in Brazil with a reported incidence of 2.8–6.8 per 100 000.[6] The disease can represent a significant public health issue and accounts for up to 17% of all malignancies in some regions.[7] Israel reports the lowest incidence which has been attributed to high neonatal circumcision rates and a sophisticated public health system. Obesity and poor hygiene which can be markers of poor public health have also been implicated in penile SqCC development. One study examining the association of obesity and penile cancer incidence reported a 53% risk increase for every five-unit rise in BMI.[8]