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Am J Surg Pathol. 1993 Aug;17(8):753-63.

Pathologic features of epidermoid carcinoma of the penis. A prospective study of 66 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, Paraguay.


We report a whole-organ-section pathologic study of 66 cases of epidermoid carcinoma of the penis. Specimens were divided into three compartments: glans (G), coronal sulcus (COS), and foreskin (F) with 24, 4, and 12 histologic sections each. Four types of carcinomas were found: (a) superficially spreading (42%), a biphasic infiltrating and extensive carcinoma in situ usually involving more than one compartment and radially growing along the surface of G, BPS, F, or even urethra; (b) vertical growth (32%), unifocal high-grade, deeply invasive neoplasms with minimal or no carcinoma in situ component; (c) verrucous (18%), low-grade papillary or endophytic; and (d) multicentric (8%), two or more independent primary tumors separated by non-neoplastic mucosa. Inguinal lymph node metastasis were found in 82, 42, and 33% of pathologic types vertical growth, superficially spreading, and multicentric carcinomas, respectively; verrucous tumors did not show metastasis. The morphologic diversity of penile cancer may be related to different causative factors. Metastatic involvement suggests a distinctive biological behavior of the tumor. The widespread extension of superficially spreading and multicentric carcinomas to anatomical compartments indicate penile mucosa as one "field" prone to malignant transformation. These findings may be important for the selection of appropriate therapy and emphasize the need for a close follow-up of patients undergoing less than a complete removal of the three compartments.

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