• penile cancer;
  • audit;
  • UK;
  • radiotherapy


To audit the penile cancer workload, management and outcome within a regional cancer network serving a population of ≈ 1 million in the West Midlands (UK), comparing these data to that published by the British Association of Urological Surgeons National Cancer Registry, the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the European Associations of Urology guidelines.


Patients diagnosed with or treated for penile cancer within the Arden Cancer Network over a 10-year period were identified retrospectively, and data relating to histology, local treatment, lymph node management, outcome and survival were recorded.


Data were obtained for 65 patients; 61 (94%) had histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the penis, equating to ≈ 0.6 cases per 100 000 population per year. Their mean age at diagnosis was 63 years. Of SCCs, 86% were located on the glans and/or foreskin. Thirty-six patients had conservative primary local therapy, mostly for T0 or T1 disease. The 5-year relapse-free survival after radiotherapy was 63%, although survival after salvage penectomy was 75% at 4 years. Forty-seven patients had lymph node surveillance; 11 developed lymph node disease and had lymph node dissection (LND) with or with no radiotherapy, but survival was poor. Primary inguinal LND with or without radiotherapy was used in eight patients, and was associated with a good survival, although three were found to have negative histology after LND. Survival was strongly influenced by T and N stage at presentation and the 5-year survival for the whole group was 71%.


The workload, incidence and overall mortality from penile cancer within the Arden Cancer Network are in line with those in the rest of the UK. Rates of conservative therapy were good in this group and associated with good survival. Survival could be improved by identifying and aggressively treating those patients at high risk of lymph node disease.