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Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 2007 Aug;29(4):185-98.

Penile squamous cell carcinoma: anatomic, pathologic and viral studies in Paraguay (1993-2007).

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  • 1Pathology Department, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


In developed countries, penile squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) account for < 1% of all malignancies in men. It is more frequent in rural populations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, where it may constitute nearly 10% of all carcinomas. In Paraguay, approximately 30-40 new cases are diagnosed per year. Different subtypes of penile carcinomas have been described. Most SCCs are of the usual type (60%). Less frequent variants include basaloid (10%), warty (10%), papillary (15%), verrucous (3%), sarcomatoid (4%) and adenosquamous (1%). Mixed forms also exist. Because there is a correlation between histologic subtype and biologic behavior, accurate subtyping is important. The prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in invasive SCC is approximately 42%, with a strong association of HPV and basaloid and warty variants. Among the most important prognostic factors are histologic grade and depth of invasion. It is important for surgical pathologists to know the anatomy of the penis and possible routes of tumor spread because negative resection margins are crucial to avoid local recurrences. The most frequently involved margins are the urethra and periurethral tissues, including Buck's fascia. Probable precursor lesions of penile carcinoma include squamous hyperplasia, low and high grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia and lichen sclerosus.

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