Skip to main content


Log in

Urethral metastasis: an uncommon presentation of a colonic adenocarcinoma

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
International Urology and Nephrology Aims and scope Submit manuscript



Metastases to the urethra are a rare clinical entity. To our knowledge there are less than ten case reports described in the literature. In this report, however we describe a case of urethral metastases from a colonic cancer origin where the urethral lesion was the presenting symptom.

Case Report

A 69-year-old woman presented with a swelling at the urethral opening. Per vaginal examination revealed a hard tender lesion situated at the external urethral meatus with contact bleeding. Excision biopsy revealed adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the tumour cells were strongly suggestive of a metastatic lesion from the colon. Subsequent investigations revealed that the patient did indeed have a sigmoid adenocarcinoma and underwent chemotherapy with a view to anterior resection and pelvic exenteration.


Metastases to the urethra are rare. Treatment options have to be individualised to the extent of the disease and the symptoms of the patient. Immunohistochemical staining can help to a certain extent to point the direction towards the possible primary lesion. Atypical presentations of urethral lesions should be viewed with suspicion. A biopsy of the lesion is the only way of confirming diagnosis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Chitale SV, Burgess NA, Sethia KK et al (2004) Management of urethral metastasis from colorectal carcinomas. Anz J Surg 74(10):925–927

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Tefilli MV, Stefani SD, Mariano MB (2003) Urethral metastasis of lung carcinoma with germinative cell features. Int Braz J Urol 29(5):431–433

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Fukata S, Inoue K, Moriki T et al (2000) A solitary metastasis of renal cell carcinoma to the urethra. J Urol 163:1245–1246

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Sullivan J, Grabstald H (1978) Management of carcinomas of the urethra. In: Skinner DG, deKernion JB (ed) Genitourinary cancer. WB Saunders & C, Philadelphia 419–428

    Google Scholar 

  5. Tamboli P, Mohsin SK, Hailemariam S, Amin MB (2002) Colonic adenocarcinoma metastatic to the urinary tract versus primary tumours of the urinary tract with glandular differentiation: a report of 7 cases and investigation using a limited immunohistochemical panel. Arch Pathol Lab Med 126(9):1057–1063

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Subudhi CL, Panda SN, Panigrahi KK (1994) Urethral metastases from carcinoma of prostate. Indian J Cancer 31(1):31–33

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Selikowitz SM, Olsson CA (1973) Metastatic urethral obstruction. Arch Surg 107:906–908

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shaheen Noorani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Noorani, S., Rao, A.R. & Callaghan, P.S. Urethral metastasis: an uncommon presentation of a colonic adenocarcinoma. Int Urol Nephrol 39, 837–839 (2007).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: