Penis & scrotum

Other malignancies

Basal cell carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 April 2010

Minor changes: 28 October 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Basal cell carcinoma penis

Alcides Chaux, M.D.
Antonio L. Cubilla, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 1,078
Page views in 2021 to date: 522
Cite this page: Chaux A, Cubilla AL. Basal cell carcinoma. website. Accessed October 15th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Very rare
  • Most cases arise in skin of shaft, may be multicentric
  • No evidence of HPV infection
  • Typically develops on sun exposed skin and is closely associated with ultraviolet radiation
Clinical features
  • Usually ages 40+ years (J Urol 1994;152:1557)
  • Slowly growing hyperpigmented tumor
  • Risk factors include ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, arsenic ingestion, immunosuppression and inherited syndromes, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Extremely low metastatic potential (J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;45:68)
Prognostic factors
  • Multicentric and large tumors may present more aggressive behavior
Case reports
  • Excision
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Ulcer almost circumscribing penis and causing penis / scrotal edema

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Regular neoplastic nests with evident peripheral palisading
  • No areas of central comedonecrosis
  • Frequent myxoid stromal changes
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Skin: not necessarily penis

Images hosted on other servers:

Skin - not necessarily penis

Differential diagnosis
  • Basaloid carcinoma: involves glans not shaft, more pleomorphic neoplastic cells, frequent central comedonecrosis and absence of peripheral palisading
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