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Invasive Vulvar Cancer in Pregnancy: Case Report and Current Literature Review

Parva, Mehdi MD1; Miroshnichenko, Gennady MD1; Holtz, David O. MD2; Dunton, Charles J. MD2

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2009 - Volume 13 - Issue 4 - p 264-268
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31819d8059
Case Reports

Squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva has predominantly been a disease of the older people. The incidence of invasive vulvar carcinoma has been increasing in women younger than 40 years. It has been rarely described in pregnancy. Our limited knowledge of vulvar cancer in pregnancy presents physicians with a therapeutic dilemma. The literature available to date is limited to 26 case reports.

Treatment options during pregnancy based on case reports include conservative management, vulvectomy, radical vulvectomy, wide excision, local excision, and palliative radiation therapy during the postpartum period. In the attempt to reduce morbidity of surgical dissection, sentinel lymph node biopsy has been shown to be an effective technique in vulvar cancer outside pregnancy. Although not well established, the lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node detection are feasible during pregnancy.

Vulvar carcinoma is rare in pregnancy, and to date, no cases of such in pregnancy with the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy have been reported.

1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, PA; and 2Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Wynnewood, PA

Reprint requests to: Mehdi Parva MD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Lankenau Hospital, 100 Lancaster Avenue, 3 MOB-S, Suite 301, Wynnewood, PA 19096. E-mail:

©2009The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology