Management of Genitourinary Tract Infections

  • Amar Safdar
  • Maurie Markman
Part of the Current Clinical Oncology book series (CCO)


The risk of developing an infection in patients with genitourinary tract malignancy arise from a host of factors such as: (1) tumor encroachment and invasion of adjacent structures; (2) tumor necrosis; (3) complications arising from antineoplastic chemotherapy; (4) early and late effects of abdomiopelvic radiation therapy; (5) surgical tumor excision and removal of internal organs; (6) structural abnormalities resulting from surgical diversion procedures; and (7) other causes that disrupt protective barriers in urinary and female reproductive tract. The spectrum of causative organisms most frequently arise from patients’ endogenous microflora. The vagina, lower urinary and intestinal tract colonization with bacteria and yeast serves as important sources for infection. The normal aerobic and anaerobic vaginal bacterial flora may be altered in patients undergoing antineoplastic therapy. Among factors that influence changes in colonization includes, hormonal dysfunction, frequent exposure to broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents, antineoplastic therapy, hospitalization, and instrumentization. Peritonitis, intraabdominal abscess, complicated urinary tract infection, surgical wound infection, skin and soft tissue infection such as cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, clostridial myonecrosis, and septic pelvic thrombophlebitis are important infectious complications encountered in patients with genitourinary tract malignancies.


Genitourinary tract Cancer Peritonitis Intraabdominal abscess Urinary tract infection Surgical wound infection Cellulitis Necrotizing fasciitis Clostridial myonecrosis Septic pelvic thrombophlebitis 



The authors are grateful to Drs. Donald Armstrong and Kent Sepkowitz of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for their contribution to this chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee HealthThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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