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Penile and Urethral Cancer

Overview

Genital cancers refer to malignancies of the penis, scrotum and urethra in particular, separate from more well known malignancies in urology such as prostate, bladder, and kidney cancers. Genital cancers in general are infrequent in North America and other Western developed countries. However, such cancers can be of significant impact to life and bodily functions and thus necessitate expert management.

Penile malignancies are primarily squamous cell carcinomas, although other penile cancers include melanomas, sarcomas, and basal cell carcinomas. Various skin diseases of the penis and scrotum also occur that must be differentiated as benign or malignant. The scrotum can also develop cancerous lesions including Extramammary Paget disease that require proper diagnosis and management. Urethral cancers may occur in association with more commonly known bladder cancers, but they may also arise distally within the urethra as a separate disease state.

Treatments and Services

Given the significant risk to life and health associated with genital cancers, these must be early identified and properly managed. A basic strategy is to properly remove the disease while preserving all aspects of urinary and sexual function as well as normal bodily appearance.

Diagnosis begins with an assessment of clinical history and physical examination, while also incorporating appropriate diagnostic imaging tests when needed. Treatment may range from local topical therapies, to genital preserving surgeries to more extensive excisions with genital reconstruction. In some cases, additional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy are required. The specialists in the Department of Urology have gained a significant level of experience in the management of these conditions and are prepared to bring the best surgical offerings as well as multidisciplinary management available.

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