Penile cancer

Penile cancer is a type of skin cancer of the penis derived from squamous cells and is therefore called squamous cell carcinoma of the penis.  This relatively uncommon urologic cancer has a wide range of presentation from a small worrisome lesion on the penis to a large mass, resulting in bleeding, infection and blockage of the urinary stream.  Treatment for penile cancer is dependent upon the stage of the lesion (depth of invasion into the layers of the penile skin and deeper structures).  Some lesions can be treated with penile-sparing excision and/or laser ablation, while others may require partial or total removal of the penis.  Because penile cancer has a predictive mode of spread, first to the inguinal (groin) lymph nodes and then to the pelvic lymph nodes, lymph node sampling and dissection plays an important role in the management of this disease.  In circumstances when pelvic lymph node removal is indicated, this can be accomplished successfully through a robotic approach.  This is the same approach to pelvic lymph node dissection taken during robotic radical prostatectomy and radical cystectomy.  See Robotic Prostatectomy for more information.