Inguinal lymph node dissection for penile cancer: a contemporary review

Jiasian Teh, Catriona Duncan, Liang Qu, Glen Guerra, Vignesh Narasimhan, Toan Pham, Nathan Lawrentschuk


Penile cancer is an uncommon disease associated with significant psychological and physical morbidity. Penile cancer has an expectable pattern of spread in a stepwise fashion, from inguinal to pelvic lymph nodes (PLN) then distant spread. Patients with penile cancer have variable survival, with patients with a low burden of nodal metastatic disease having lasting survival with surgical management, however patients with a large amount of locoregional metastatic disease having a worse prognosis. The current management options for patients with metastatic lymph node disease in penile cancer aims to reduce the morbidity associated with radical inguinal lymph node (ILN) surgery with appropriate risk stratification to optimise oncological control of the disease. This article describes current challenges in managing the inguinal region in patients with penile squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).