The purpose of this study was to characterize the epidemiological features of cancer of the penis in Finland. After histological re-examination and exclusions, the final series comprised 269 patients with cancer of the penis diagnosed and reported to the Finnish Cancer Registry between 1955 and 1977. The age-adjusted incidence rate of cancer of the penis decreased slightly from the 1960s onwards and was on the order of 0.5 per 100,000 person-years in the 1970s. Cancer of the penis was a disease of elderly males, which showed no systematic geographical variation in Finland in terms of risk. The most frequent predisposing factors were phimosis, in 44% of the cases, and condylomatous lesions, in 20% of the cases. The general survival (all patients, all stages) was favourable; the 5-, 10-, and 20-year relative survival rates were 71, 69 and 78%, respectively.