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Keywords:

  • penile neoplasms;
  • race-based variation;
  • survival analysis;
  • outcome assessment;
  • Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Penile carcinoma is uncommon. Therefore, obtaining meaningful epidemiologic data requires analysis of large, multisource databases. The authors examined the association between different demographic variables and the prevalence, presentation, and survival of patients with penile squamous cell carcinoma in the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.

METHODS

The SEER database represents 12% of the U.S. population. The database included 1605 patients with a diagnosis of penile squamous cell carcinoma between 1973 and 1998. The variables analyzed were age, race, marital status, stage at presentation, type of surgery, performance of lymphadenectomy, and disease-specific survival.

RESULTS

Of 1605 patients, 37% presented with carcinoma in situ (CIS), 39% with localized disease, 13% with regional disease, 2.3% with distant disease, and 7.9% of the patients were unstaged. The percentage of patients presenting with CIS and localized disease increased and decreased yearly, respectively. African Americans represented 9.9% of the population and tended to present at a younger age and with a higher stage of disease, and their cancer-specific survival was shorter in all stages. However, these associations were statistically significant only for men with regional disease. Marital status was documented for 1394 patients (87%). The majority (84%) had a history of marriage and presented at an earlier stage of disease and had higher disease-specific survival in the localized (P = 0.0002) and regional stages (P = 0.0010) of disease.

CONCLUSIONS

The diagnosis of penile carcinoma significantly reduced survival. African-American men presented with a higher stage of disease and statistically significant decreased survival, whereas previously or currently married men presented at an earlier stage of disease and sought more aggressive treatment. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.