Malignant lesions of the penis may arise from the squamous epithelium of the prepuce, glans, and/or penile shaft. Penile cancers remain rare, with an estimate of ~2,000 new cases in the United States for 2016.1 The most prevalent histologic subtype remains squamous cell carcinoma, although other cell types may occur (Table 1). These lesions, principally occur in uncircumcised men, and most commonly develop from the mucosal surface of the glans penis or inner prepuce. Primary lesions are localized to the glans, prepuce and penile shaft in 60%, 23% and 9% respectively, with the remaining lesions overlapping between these sites.2 As is typically seen in squamous tumors arising from other locations, these tumors have a propensity for progressive growth and infiltration, eventually leading to metastases through lymphatic dissemination. Multimodal management of this disease has evolved to utilize surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, with durable survival occasionally seen in the setting of locally advanced and regional metastatic disease. In this review, we will discuss the epidemiologic, diagnostic, pathologic, staging, and therapeutic characteristics of penile cancer.
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