objectives: to assess epidemiologic characteristics of penile cancer in brazil. materials and methods: from may 2006 to june 2007, a questionnaire was distributed to all brazilian urologists. their patients' clinical and epidemiological data was analyzed (age, race, place of residence, history of sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco smoking, performance of circumcision, type of hospital service), as well as the time between the appearance of the symptoms and the diagnosis, the pathological characteristics of the tumor (histological type, degree, localization and size of lesion, stage of disease), the type of treatment performed and the present state of the patient. results: 283 new cases of penile cancer in brazil were recorded. the majority of these cases occurred in the north and northeast (53.02%) and southeast (45.54%) regions. the majority of patients (224, or 78.96%) were more than 46 years of age while only 21 patients (7.41%) were less than 35 years of age. of the 283 patients presenting penile cancer, 171 (60.42%) had phimosis with the consequent impossibility to expose the glans. a prior medical history positive for hpv infection was reported in 18 of the 283 cases (6.36%). in 101 patients (35.68%) tobacco smoking was reported. the vast majority of the cases (n = 207; 73.14%) presented with tumors localized in the glans and prepuce. in 48 cases (16.96%) the tumor affected the glans, the prepuce and the corpus penis; in 28 cases (9.89%) the tumor affected the entire penis. the majority of the patients (n = 123; 75.26%) presented with t1 or t2; only 9 patients (3.18%) presented with t4 disease. conclusion: penile cancer is a very frequent pathology in brazil, predominantly affecting low income, white, uncircumcised patients, living in the north and northeast regions of the country.