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Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Apr;97(1):192-4.

Vulvar basal cell carcinoma: retrospective study and review of literature.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Via degli Alfani, 37, Firenze-50121, Florence, Italy.



Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common human malignant neoplasm. It does not occur only in anatomical areas commonly exposed to sunlight, but also in relatively protected body sites such as the axillae, the groin and buttocks, and in regions which are entirely protected from the sun, like the vulva. The aim of this study is to assess the impact and clinical features of BCCs in the vulva versus other anatomical sites.


For this purpose, we retrospectively reviewed all the histological diagnoses of BCCs made between 1995 and 2003 in the Department of Human Pathology and Oncology of the University of Florence, Italy.


Out of 3604 cases of BCC, 63 were in the vulva. The average age of patients suffering from the latter was 70.35 years. The average size of the vulvar BCCs was 2.1 cm and 18 (28%) were ulcerated at presentation.


Our study shows that vulvar BCC is not a particularly rare occurrence; in fact it should be suspected whenever lesions that we believe to be inflammatory do not respond to usual treatment. In our experience, mucocutaneous examination of this anatomical area should be performed especially in patients with a history of skin cancer. In case of suspicion, a biopsy is recommended to obtain a preoperative confirmatory diagnosis.

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