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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2001 Feb;41(1):78-81.

Primary Bartholin gland carcinoma: a report of seven cases.

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Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer, Royal Women's Hospital, Herston, Australia.


This study reviews our experience with 7 patients with primary Bartholin gland cancer (BGC) treated at the Queensland Gynaecological Cancer Centre (QCGC) and compares this with previously published data. A retrospective clinicopathologic review of all patients with primary BGC treated at QCGC from 1988 to 2000 was performed. Of the 7 patients treated, all underwent primary surgery and 5 of the 7 patients received radiotherapy postoperatively. All patients presented with a local swelling or a lump. Two had associated discharge and 2 had associated pain. Of the 7 patients, 2, 3 and 2 respectively were classified as having Stage IB, II or III disease. Five of the 7 patients had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), one had adenoid-cystic carcinoma and 1 had a small-cell neuroendocrine cancer of the Bartholin gland. None of the patients with SCC developed recurrent disease. The patient with adenoid-cystic carcinoma experienced local recurrences at 4 years and again at 5 years and 3 months. Nine years after primary treatment she was diagnosed with pulmonary metastases. The patient with small-cell neuroendocrine cancer of the Bartholin gland was considered tumour-free after operation. Thorough imaging, including a CT scan of her chest, abdomen and pelvis showed no evidence of disease. She died 1 year and three months after diagnosis from disseminated pulmonary disease. We present the first report of small cell neuroendocrine cancer of the Bartholin gland. Therapeutic principles in the management of vulval cancer at other sites appear to be appropriate for management of BGC.

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