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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun;200(6):645.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.01.014. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

Vulvar cancer in young women: demographic features and outcome evaluation.

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  • 1Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.



The objective of the study was to identify prognostic and environmental factors associated with vulvar carcinoma in young women.


This study was a review of patients younger than 45 years who were diagnosed with vulvar squamous cell carcinoma between 1994 and 2006.


Fifty-six patients were identified. Median age was 38 years and median follow-up was 25.3 months. Fifty-eight percent of patients presented with stage I disease; 77% smoked tobacco. Of patients with advanced disease, 53.3% were smokers, 40% had human papillomavirus (HPV) exposure, 46.7% had a history of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), and 6.7% were immunocompromised. Symptoms were present for more than 12 months in 47%, but symptom duration did not correlate with stage (P = .42) or positive lymph nodes (P = .28). Disease recurred in 10.7% and 5.4% died of disease.


Young women with vulvar cancer tend to have early-stage disease, smoke, have a history of HPV, and have VIN. Many of the factors that place these patients at continuous risk are modifiable.

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