Is the association between balanitis xerotica obliterans and penile carcinoma underestimated?

St George's, University of London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom
BJU International (Impact Factor: 3.53). 08/2006; 98(1):74-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06213.x
Source: PubMed


To determine the incidence of balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) in a consecutive series of penile carcinomas in one centre, as BXO is a common penile disease that usually involves the prepuce and glans, and there have been sporadic case reports of the association between BXO and penile carcinoma, although it is uncertain if there is a specific causal relationship.
The reported incidence of penile carcinoma in patients with BXO is 2.6-5.8%, leading some to advocate circumcision in all cases, with close follow-up in those with persistent glanular disease. We prospectively analysed all cases of penile cancer referred to the unit over a 54-month period, to determine the prevalence of BXO.
In all, 155 patients with penile malignancy were reviewed, 44 of whom had BXO (28%). This group included 34 men with squamous cell carcinoma and 10 with carcinoma in situ; in 39, BXO and malignancy presented synchronously. In three other cases, cancer occurred in the background of chronic persistent BXO; in two cases penile cancer was truly metachronous. The tumours with associated BXO tended to be of lower stage and grade, and the patients presented when younger, but this was not statistically significant.
A significant proportion of patients with penile malignancy have a histological diagnosis of BXO. We think that patients presenting with long-standing BXO and those in whom BXO has not resolved after circumcision warrant biopsies and a careful follow-up.

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    • ". This may be due to the underlying cause of the phimosis , such as chronic inflammation, or due to the resultant poor hygiene as a consequence of the inability to retract the foreskin. Lichen sclerosus (LS) is the most common chronic inflammatory cause of phimosis, and is frequently found in patients with invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the penis, with reported rates between 28% and 50% [Pietrzak et al. 2006; Powel and Wojnarowska, 1999; Perceau et al. 2003]. This has led to the conclusion that LS represents a premalignant process. "
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    ABSTRACT: The outcome of penile cancer is proportional to the stage at presentation. Strategies aimed at primary prevention would have a clear advantage, both for the individual and in terms of health economics. A number of preventative measures could be employed, including circumcision, smoking cessation, education on hygiene and human papillomavirus (HPV) prevention. There is a high prevalence of HPV infection associated with penile cancer worldwide. The recent development of HPV vaccines has facilitated interest in their use for the prevention of penile cancer. In this article we review the literature surrounding penile cancer prevention and HPV vaccination in men.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Therapeutic Advances in Urology
    • "On many occasions, progressive disease may lead to long urethral strictures. There have been cases reported of scrotal fistula formation,[7] renal impairment[7] and a documented association between chronic BXO and an increased risk of penile squamous cell carcinoma.[8] "
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    ABSTRACT: Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO) is a chronic, often progressive disease, which can lead to phimosis and urethral stenosis, affecting both urinary and sexual function. Steroid creams are usually the first-line treatment but have a limited role and surgical intervention is frequently necessary. Conservative surgical procedures (circumcision) are often preferred in the first instance with the premise that recurrence of disease will require a more definitive reconstruction. This study looked at patients with pathologically proven BXO referred to the Plastic Surgery Unit at James Cook University Hospital between 2005 and 2009. The aim was to look at their management in the past and subsequent management by us. We also looked at whether early referral of progressive and recurrent BXO patients to reconstructive surgery could have prevented unnecessary delay in resolving symptoms at an earlier stage. Data was collected retrospectively and information regarding the exact anatomical location affected, the extent of the disease, the referring specialty and any previous surgical interventions was obtained. Alterations in urinary and sexual function and relief of symptoms following reconstructive surgery were analysed. Of the 23 patients in the study, 43% had previous surgery and 60% of those had undergone two or more procedures. Twenty-one percent of patients had a history of BXO for over five years. Forty-seven percent of patients had alteration in their urinary function and 48% alteration in their sexual function due to the disease, prior to referral. Early results showed remarkable improvement in urinary and sexual function following reconstructive surgery in this group. Steroid creams have been shown to limit the progression of the disease but do not offer a cure in the majority of cases. Circumcision can be a curative procedure in early disease. Although there is conflicting evidence for treatment of recurring urethral strictures, repeated urethrotomy or urethral dilatation has poor long-term outcome. In patients with recurrent disease and associated complications we propose early referral to a plastic surgeon with genitourinary interest or reconstructive urologist for definitive treatment.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
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    • "Without standard pathological evaluation of circumcised foreskins, 50% of patients with BXO would have been missed in our study. In the literature, BXO in adults is associated with a higher incidence of meatal stenosis (4%) [6] and urethral strictures (20e60%) [6], and has a known association with penile carcinoma [9] [11] [12]. These manifestations of BXO may cause serious clinical problems. "
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    ABSTRACT: At our institute we usually send the foreskin after circumcision for pathological examination. Does this make sense or is it merely medical overconsumption? A retrospective analysis was carried out of all pediatric patients who underwent a circumcision, from August 2005 to January 2008, for persisting pathological phimosis after treatment with topical steroids. Religious circumcisions were excluded. Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) was diagnosed in 37 out of 135 biopsies (27%). In 19 of the 37 boys with pathological evidence of BXO (51%), the physical examination matched the pathology. Meatal stenosis was found in six cases; four were also diagnosed with BXO. In this study, 27% of all biopsies were positive for BXO. The results show that the diagnosis BXO must be based on biopsy, because clinical findings underestimated the incidence of BXO by almost 50%. BXO implies a higher incidence of meatal stenosis, urethral pathology and has a known association with penile carcinoma. We conclude that there is a place for routine biopsy of the foreskin after circumcision for pathological phimosis, taking into account the potential clinical consequences when BXO is diagnosed.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Journal of pediatric urology
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