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Urology. 1999 Feb;53(2):386-92.

Conservative surgical therapy for penile and urethral carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Sentara Cancer Institute, Norfolk 23507, USA.



Invasive penile and urethral tumors are traditionally treated with aggressive excision that requires involved organ and adjacent organ sacrifice. An alternative approach seeks to completely excise the tumor with adequate margins while preserving form and function of the organ. We present 6 patients who underwent such organ-sparing surgery.


Six selected cases (4 penile and 2 urethral) are presented with operative photographs and pertinent data.


Three distal tumors of the penis were treated with excision limited to the glans with histopathologic findings of verrucous carcinoma, melanoma, and angiosarcoma. One patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the distal shaft refused partial penectomy and underwent a local wedge resection. A patient with locally advanced bulbourethral transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) refused cystourethrectomy and underwent an anterior urethrectomy and perineal urethrostomy. A 48-year-old woman with an adenocarcinoma contained in a very distal urethral diverticulum underwent simple diverticulectomy and excision of distal urethra. Postoperative voiding and sexual function were well preserved. Follow-up was 12 to 48 months. The patient with angiosarcoma died of lung metastases at 48 months with no local disease, and the patient with bulbourethral TCC developed pelvic disease at 12 months with no local recurrence and died of metastases at 25 months.


Organ-sparing surgery is appropriate in selected patients on the basis of stage and location, high risk of distant failure, and patient disposition. Close follow-up is necessary. Comanagement with reconstructive and oncologic specialists optimizes results and outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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