Aim: To evaluate the coexistence of verrucous and squamous carcinoma of the vulva and to assess the clinical course, survival and rate of recurrent disease of these patients.
Methods: The records of 17 patients who were diagnosed with verrucous carcinoma of the vulva over a 12-year period were studied retrospectively. Presence of genuine verrucous carcinoma or coexistence of verrucous and squamous carcinoma of the vulva on vulvar biopsies, results of histopathological assessment of final vulva and inguino-femoral node specimens and histological evaluation of recurrent disease specimens were the main outcome measures.
Results: Five of the 17 patients (29.5%) initially underwent radical vulvectomy and inguino-femoral lymphadenectomy. Histology of the specimens verified the coexistence of verrucous and squamous carcinomas in four of the five cases. Twelve women (70.5%) underwent simple vulvectomy for genuine verrucous carcinoma; in the final histology, 10 of these women (58.8%) were confirmed as having genuine verrucous carcinomas while two (11.7%) were found to have both verrucous and squamous carcinomas and were further managed by lymphadenectomy. None of our patients died of the disease. Three women (17.5%) presented with local relapse of the tumour, and were managed by wide local excision of the tumour.
Conclusions: In the present study, 35% of patients with verrucous carcinomas of the vulva had coexistent squamous carcinoma. Separation of the cases of genuine verrucous carcinoma from coexistent verrucous and squamous tumours is based on the establishment of correct diagnosis by a large and deep vulvar biopsy as well as the meticulous assessment of the specimen by the pathologist. This will result in the decrease of the rate of over- and under-treatment of these patients.
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