To analyze possible clinical-pathological parameters and predictors of lymph node metastasis and evaluate the impact of lymphadenectomy in the survival of these patients.A retrospective study of patients diagnosed with penile cancer and submitted to regional lymphadenectomy at two reference hospitals in Maranhão, Northeast, Brazil, an area where the disease has a high incidence. We described here clinical and histopathological characteristics of patients diagnosed between January 2009 and September 2017.Fifty-five patients with an average age of 55.4 years (range: 25-84 years) were analyzed, with 24.4 months being the average time between the onset of symptoms and start of treatment. Among patients without palpable lymph nodes at the first examination, 51% were affected by inguinal metastasis. In the multivariate analysis, the presence of angiolymphatic invasion (P = .029) and absence of koilocytosis (P = .001) were found to be predictive factors for lymph node metastasis. Patients submitted to prophylactic lymphadenectomy presented with a disease-free period of 25.4 months (±5.81), whereas those who underwent therapeutic lymphadenectomy presented with a disease-free period of 19.9 months (±3.12).Angiolymphatic invasion and absence of koilocytosis appeared to be predictive factors for lymph node metastasis. Therefore, the submission of patients with metastatic risk to prophylactic lymphadenectomy may improve their survival. Thus, prophylactic lymphadenectomy in patients at risk for inguinal metastasis may create a positive impact in survival rates.