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N Shamini, EH Tay, TH Ho
Correspondence: Dr Nair Shamini, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Vulvar cancer is uncommon in Singapore and to date there have been no local reports on this rare cancer. This is a descriptive study that aims to evaluate our patients' profiles, their management and their outcomes.
Materials and Methods Between January 1981 and December 1998, there were 35 patients with vulvar cancer treated at KK Women's and Children's Hospital. The case records of these patients were reviewed. Survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results The modal age at diagnosis was 74.0 years (range 17.0-89.0 years). Chinese patients accounted for 88% of the study group, Malays for 6%, Indians for 3% and other races made up 3% of the study group. The most common presenting symptom was an ulcer or lump (83.8%). Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common histological type (80.0%). Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia III was found in 20% of the cases. There were five patients with other lower genital tract malignancies. Surgery was the most common treatment modality and wound breakdown was the most common complication. The overall five year survival was 75.9%. For stage 1&2 disease, the five year survival was 90.0%. For stage 3&4 disease, the five year survival was 26.0%.
Conclusion The rarity of vulvar cancer makes it best treated in a tertiary centre. There is a definite survival advantage in early diagnosis and treatment of vulvar cancer. Lymph node surgery was associated with a longer operating time and a higher chance of wound breakdown.
Keywords: vulvar cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, lymph node surgery, surgery, radiotherapy
Singapore Med J 2001; 42(7): 292-296