Objective: To determine the current incidence as well as general and ethnic trends of penile carcinoma in northern Trinidad and Tobago.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on all cases of penile carcinoma presenting in north and east Trinidad, as well as Tobago over an eight-year period.
Results: There were 19 cases from October 2003 to February 2012 with an age range of 42–96 years, mean of 59 years; peak age of presentation was 41–50 years and the number of cases presenting per year varied from one to four, with an average of three new cases yearly. Of 19 cases, 63% (12) originated from Port-of-Spain General Hospital (POSGH), 26% (5) from Sangre Grande (SGH) and 11% (2) from Tobago (TRH). There were 14 (74%) patients of African descent, three mixed and two of East Indian descent. There were four associated inflammatory lesions, five with ulcers and five verrucous lesions and two (10.5%) with human papillomavirus (HPV). One case presented with metastatic disease to the groin with erosion into the common femoral artery resulting in a blow-out of the vessel. The patient had the vessel oversewn and an extra-anatomic bypass done. He later had an above-knee amputation due to graft infection and failure.
Conclusion: The incidence of penile carcinoma in north Trinidad and in Tobago is low and has halved in the past two decades. It stands at 0.6 cases per 100 000 males with the peak age group being 41–50 years, with 95% of cases occurring between 41 and 80 years. There is a statistically significant association with active infection and being Afro-Caribbean. The decreasing incidence may be attributed to better hygiene, a higher rate of circumcision and low HPV rates in our population.