Vulvar Basal Cell Carcinoma: Clinical and Histopathologic Features

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2022 Jan 1;41(1):86-92. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0000000000000771.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequent skin cancer but <1% of the cases develop in the vulva. Histoprognostic features of vulvar BCCs are not recognized and, consequently, the treatment of the disease is not well codified. To overcome this lack of knowledge, we have performed a retrospective analysis of vulvar BBCs to assess the value of various histological features regarding the disease outcome. In all, 19 patients surgically treated for a vulvar BCC in the Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Créteil from March 1, 2000 to September 26, 2019 were retrieved. Clinical and histologic features were reviewed in all cases and analyzed in comparison with disease recurrence and patient's survival. The median age of the patients was 74 (range 54-99) yr. Tumor location on the labium majus was the most frequent (68%). None presented with a medical condition related to BCC. All the patients were treated by surgery alone, except one who benefited from additional radiotherapy. We found a significant association between tumor size and recurrences (P=0.031). Other features associated with disease outcome were tumor thickness, treatment type, and surgical margins. Recurrence was observed for tumors larger than 20 mm with a surgical margin of less than 3 mm. A combination of tumor size, thickness, and surgical margin are histoprognostic factors more significant than tumor subtype.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Vulvar Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Vulvar Neoplasms* / surgery