We report the cases of four renal transplant patients who developed multiple skin cancers located preferentially on lymphoedematous lower limbs. All skin tumours appeared post-transplant and the diagnosis was confirmed on histologic examination. In addition, one of the patients also underwent mastectomy with axillary dissection and radiotherapy for a left breast ductal carcinoma and subsequently developed multiple squamous carcinomas and intraepithelial carcinomas on the left upper limb.The aetiology of lymphoedema in these patients is multifactorial. In addition to immunosuppression, ultraviolet exposure, genetic factors and possibly infection with the human papilloma virus, which are thought to have a role in the aetiology of certain skin tumours, lymphoedema may have contributed to the predominant location of these skin malignancies on the lymphoedematous limbs.
Copyright 1999 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons.