Objectives: To review the evidence underlying the diagnosis, pathology and treatment of lymphoedema of the lower extremities and genitalia from or following the treatment for urological cancer, and to suggest possible underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that may explain its development. Methods: Reviews of the epidemiological, surgical, and scientific literature and personal experience of treatment of patients are used to build a picture of clinical setting and the physiological principles underlying lymphoedema of the leg. Results: Lymphoedema of the leg and genitals results in serious morbidity for the patient. The incidence is largely unknown, but varies according to the type and location of tumours and may be up to 50% in advanced stages of penile carcinoma, or following its treatment. Although the aetiology of the condition is either iatrogenic, or associated with malignancy, the underlying pathophysiology is not well understood. Conclusions: Recent studies in breast cancer related lymphoedema point to underlying vascular as well as lymphatic problems, but the parallels with lower limb lymphoedema are not known.
- Urological cancer