UI Hospitals and Clinics

Penile Cancer Program

Catching penile cancer early is essential for a successful treatment and so it won’t impact a man’s sexual and urinary health. If you find an abnormality with your penis, even if it is not painful, see a doctor immediately. Some symptoms of penile cancer may not seem like cancer, such as skin changes (white or red blotches or lumps for example), swelling, or lumps in the groin. Although it is something that would be easy to put off, getting help early will increase the chances that the cancer will not impact your quality of life.

As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, the experts at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center focus on every aspect of penile cancer, including what your life will be like when your treatment is complete. Our clinicians are also top researchers, finding new and innovative treatments and therapies, as well as what it takes to get you back to your life. We are always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatments even better.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Experts focused on penile cancer. Our team of specialists focuses only on cancers of the urinary system. Because our specialists concentrate only on urological cancers such as penile cancer, they understand the disease and know about the most recent treatment option—from innovative surgeries to chemotherapy to radiation therapy.
  • Surgical options and more. The standard treatment for penile cancer is surgery and may be followed up with radiation and chemotherapy. The earlier the cancer is caught, the more likely the successful treatment. At Holden, all of these experts are under one roof and work together to create a plan that is best for you. We have even been able to re-construct a penis that was affected by cancer.
  • Fertility expertise. Many men fear what might happen to their sexual and urological health with a penile cancer. Our experts are also trained to work with you on side effects of treatment if they do occur.
  • New infusion suite just for you. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. Take our virtual tour

Cancer Care With You in Mind

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa—and one of only 45 nationwide—to be designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Of the approximately 1500 cancer centers and programs in the United States, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent nationally.

To be a "comprehensive" center means our medical teams have met strict guidelines in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research.

As members of an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our doctors, nurses, and staff are among the nation’s leaders in cancer research, education, prevention, and outreach. Our experience—and our expertise—guides the cancer care we provide to patients like you.

The Power of Clinical Trials

This is an exciting time in the world of cancer research. Our physicians are deeply involved in cancer research, and they understand new developments to treat penile cancer.

Since 2013, the genito-urinary cancer team has been collecting tissues, DNA and other information about many cancers of the urinary system. With more than 400 samples, researchers are able to better understand how cancer works and develop new treatment options.

Clinical trials are where research meets patient care. Clinical trials are research studies that test out the latest treatments and drugs that are not yet available to the wider public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

See all of the clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in our efforts to control—and ultimately cure—cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

  • Age increases your risk of penile cancer. Most cases are in men age 55 and older.
  • Most men find their own testicular cancer by noticing something unusual such as a sore, bulge or discolored spot. If you notice any of these signs, don’t delay. See your doctor.
  • Penile cancer is rare and accounts for less than one percent of all cancers.

Penile Cancer Care Team

We bring together experts from different areas of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group, focused on a specific cancer type, such as penile cancer.

This team of specialists—surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, genetics counselors, nurses, and others—works together to design a treatment plan that is tailored to your cancer and your specific treatment needs.

Co-Leader: James Brown, MD (Surgeon)
Co-Leader: Daniel Vaena, MD (Medical Oncology)


Medical Oncology

Radiation Oncology




Research nurses

  • Pam Zehr, RN
  • Jill Wegeman, RN
  • Janan Geick-Miller, RN
  • Susan Butcher, RN
  • Michelle Arnold, RN
  • Mary Schall, RN