Effects of Treatment for Penile Cancer on Quality of Life

Data regarding quality of life following surgery for penile cancer has been reviewed.17 The authors in this review identified 128 men from 6 separate studies in whom quality-of-life data had been collected, of which 5 were retrospective studies. Control groups were rarely assessed. They found that any conclusions from the data were limited by the many and varied instruments used to assess quality of life, by the methodology used to collect the data, and the small numbers of patients studied and it is perhaps not surprising that contradictory results were often obtained.

For instance the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was used in 3 studies, with two suggesting impaired well-being5 18 and the third1 9 suggesting no such impairment. The Hospital and Depression Scale (HADS) was used in two studies, and while one suggested significant impairment18 the other suggested no change.19

Although we might assume that conservative treatments for penile cancer will be associated with a less marked effect upon quality of life further work in this area is still required. We need prospective studies with a larger sample size, using appropriately validated instruments that assess both general aspects of quality of life as well as disease specific.

Fig. 15.1 A penile cancer nurse specialist provides preoperative information and support to a newly diagnosed patient
Fig. 15.3 Postoperative appearance of a penile-preserving procedure using a split-skin graft
Penile Cancer
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