Penile cancer and phallus preservation strategies: a review of current literature

Authors

  • Marianna Zukiwskyj,

    1. Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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  • Padraig Daly,

    1. Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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  • Eric Chung

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    2. Department of Surgery, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    3. Pelvic Medicine Centre, St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    • Correspondence: Eric Chung, Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital,Brisbane, QLD 4103, Australia.

      e-mail: ericchg@hotmail.com

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Abstract

Penile cancer is a rare malignancy in most developed nations but its management can have significant anatomical, functional and psychological effects in patients. Whilst total penectomy used to be widely practiced, it is associated with significant psychological consequences pertaining to body image and masculinity, with loss of sexual function and the ability to void upright. Recent advances in surgical techniques and technologies has allowed for many organ-sparing techniques with acceptable psychosexual and oncological outcomes. Factors to be considered in phallus preservation treatment include: local invasion, tumour stage and the ability to achieve complete oncological control. Topical chemotherapeutic agents, laser ablation, radiotherapy, Mohs micrographic surgery, glansectomy and partial penectomy have been frequently used to interfere as little as possible with functional anatomy without compromising local cancer control. The difficulty with these phallus-preserving techniques is the potential risk of disease recurrence both locally and distally. Providing that patients are suitable for penile-sparing therapy, have been informed adequately on risk of tumour recurrence and are willing to commit to rigorous close surveillance, good functional outcome as well as oncological control can be achieved.

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