Oakwood Solicitors

Penile Cancer

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Penile cancer, which occurs on the skin of the penis or within the penis, is a rare type of cancer.

There Are Four Main Types of Cancer:

  • Squamous cell penile cancer – The most common form of penile cancer (pictured below), which starts in the surface cells of the penis.
  • Carcinoma in situ (CIS) – This is a type of squamous cell cancer, which hasn’t spread any deeper than the surface cells of the penis.
  • Adenocarcinoma – Cancer that starts in cells that produce sweat.
  • Melanoma of the penis – The cancer develops in the cells that give the skin its colour.

penile cancer





There is no specific cause for penile cancer. However, it should be noted the chance of suffering from penile cancer increases in the following instances:

  • If you are a carrier of the human papillomavirus (HPV virus).
  • You are aged over 50.
  • Have a tight foreskin.
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Smoked.
  • Have phimosis.
  • Suffer from some skin conditions left untreated.


Symptoms of penile cancer include:

  • A rash on your penis.
  • Bleeding from your penis or under the foreskin.
  • A smelly discharge.
  • A growth on your penis.
  • A change in colour of your penis or foreskin.
  • Thickening of the skin of your penis or foreskin.
  • Difficulty in drawing back your foreskin.

As well as the above, symptoms of more advanced penile cancer include:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain in the bones.
  • A lump in the groin.
  • Erectile Dysfunction.




The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines to help GPs recognise and assess symptoms of penile cancer so referrals can be made in the appropriate circumstances. If you are referred, you are more than likely to be seen by a Urologist. They may complete the following:

  • Discuss with you your symptoms.
  • Examine your penis and check your groin for swellings.
  • Check your medical history.
  • Blood tests.
  • MRI scan, CT scan, and PET-CT scan.
  • Biopsy.

If diagnosed, the cancer will be staged depending on how far it has spread.


Treatment of penile cancer depends on its size and pace of growth.

The main treatments are surgery (especially where the cancer affects a wide area), radiotherapy and chemotherapy (which can also be offered in combination with radiotherapy and before or after surgery).

However, laser, creams or cryotherapy (freezing) may be recommended in the very early stages of penile cancer. In most instances, reconstructive surgery can be considered if there have been anything physical changes to your penis as a result of surgical treatment.



How Do I Make a Claim?

If you feel that your diagnosis has been delayed or that your treatment has been inappropriate, you may be entitled to bring about a claim. The team at Oakwood Solicitors will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.

Who Can Bring About a Claim?

The victim of the negligence can bring about a claim in their own right. However, it is often sadly the case that the victim is either unable to bring about a claim or has sadly passed away.

In such circumstances, a claim can be brought about on their behalf either by an appropriate person or friend if the victim is still with us, or by the executor of the estate of a surviving dependant if the victim has passed.

Our specialist team will be able to discuss whether you have a right to bring about a claim – so if you or a loved one has been affected, do not hesitate to contact us.

How Long Do I Have to Claim?

Claims of this nature are subject to a three year limitation period. This means claims must be commenced within the Courts in three years of either the date the negligent act occurred or the date you became aware that negligence had occurred.

In cases involving deceased victims, this limitation period commences from the date of death and in cases involving minors, the limitation period starts when they reach their 18th birthday.

The law surrounding limitation periods is complex – our specialist team will be able to advise further.

How Long Will My Case Take to Run?

Given the complexities involved in pursuing a Clinical Negligence claim, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if Court proceedings have to be issued.

Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion. We will provide you with regular updates on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.



How Much is My Claim Worth?

It is often difficult to value Clinical Negligence claims at their outset, given the complexities involved. However, we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

  • General damages – An award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence.
  • Special damages – An award of money for all of your out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel, medication costs, loss of earnings, and treatment costs both past and future. This list is not exhaustive and is very case specific.

Why Use Oakwood Solicitors To Make Your Clinical Negligence Case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical negligence.

We want to ensure that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and aim to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

How is My Case Funded?

The majority of Clinical Negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a ‘no-win, no-fee’ agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay up front and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost. If you are successful in your claim, a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations.

If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained, the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point. The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

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If you have been affected by misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of penile cancer, or require any advice about legal proceedings – get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Carol Cook

Head of Department - Medical Negligence

0113 200 9780

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