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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Jun 15;152(4):387-94.

Lymphatic spread in carcinoma of the vulva.


A study of 153 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva is reviewed. Regional node metastases were present in 20%, and lymphatic spread proved the single most significant prognostic factor in this disease. Recurrent carcinoma developed in 47% of cases with nodal metastases. Lymph node metastases were directly related to stage of disease, tumor differentiation, lesion size, and depth of invasion. Sixty percent of nodal disease was not suspected by clinical examination. No patient developing recurrent disease after identification of positive nodes survived the disease. Surgical staging based only upon size of lesion and presence of nodal metastases appears to offer a clearer prognostic profile than conventional clinical staging. The pattern and frequency of nodal spread suggest that in selected instances modifications of the standard surgical treatment of vulvar cancer may be appropriate.

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