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Article
June 1936

LYMPHEDEMA (ELEPHANTIASIS) OF THE EXTREMITIES CAUSED BY INVASION OF LYMPHATIC VESSELS BY CANCER CELLS: REPORT OF TWO CASES

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.

From the Section on Dermatology and Syphilology, The Mayo Clinic.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1936;57(6):1145-1150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1936.00170100090008
Abstract

In the two unusual cases reported here, lymphedema (elephantiasis) of the extremities was the result of malignant invasion of the lymphatic structures. In the first case the condition was caused by a squamous cell epithelioma extending from the left ankle to the groin, and in the second case the cause probably was direct extension of an endothelioma of the pleura to the lymphatic structures of one arm. Lymphedema, or elephantiasis (an advanced stage of lymphedema), of the extremities rather frequently results from metastatic involvement of inguinal or axillary lymph nodes or from surgical removal of lymph nodes, especially those which are involved in cases of carcinoma of the breast. Development of lymphedema as the result of packing of the lymphatic channels of an extremity with tumor cells, thus obstructing the flow, is, I believe, uncommon. The various types of lymphedema of the extremities and their relative frequency of occurrence recently

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