Primary urethral squamous cell carcinoma: a unique manifestation of a penile tumor.

This case report describes a unique manifestation of a primary urethral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as the underlying pathology in an 80-year-old male patient who underwent partial penectomy due to an enlarging penile mass. Persistent pain in the right knee was discovered to be a pathologic fracture using magnetic resonance imaging. Computed tomography-guided biopsy confirmed metastatic SCC. Whole-body positron emission tomography revealed systemic dissemination to multiple sites. Orthopedic knee replacement was performed in combination with local radiotherapy. Palliative chemotherapy was rejected due to poor performance status. Primary urethral SCC is rare and an uncommon cause of advanced penile cancer. These findings could be of great interest to clinicians for two reasons. First, a tumor's appearance can be misleading. Consequently, histological work-up in accordance with clinical guidelines is necessary for accurate diagnosis. Second, a more comprehensive investigation is required when clinical symptoms persist despite the use of conventional treatment. Our case is an instance in which persistent pain masked the presence of downstream metastasis. We believe that these aforementioned points are of significant clinical importance and present a salient learning opportunity.

The Journal of international medical research. 2018 Dec 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Isabelle Antwerpen, Lukas Gstrein, Linda Moskovszky, Hans Martin Gissler, Tilmann Möltgen, Maciej Kwiatkowski, Stephen Wyler, Matthias Walter

1 Department of Urology, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland., 3 Department of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland., 4 Department of Radiology, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland.