The under-reporting of skin disease in association with squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva

Clin Exp Dermatol. 1996 Sep;21(5):334-7.


Histology sections from 61 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the vulva presenting after 1988 were reviewed for evidence of associated epithelial abnormality. Of the 50 patients with epithelium adjacent to the tumour, 24 had histological evidence of lichen sclerosus (LS), 20 of severe vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN 3), 22 of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and three of lichen planus (LP). The clinical records and the original histology report were also subsequently reviewed and with the exception of VIN 3, these disorders were poorly reported by both clinicians and pathologists. Lichen sclerosus was diagnosed clinically in only two of the 36 hospital records available for inspection. Old terminology was used to describe some patients with epithelial disease (erythroleucoplakia in one patient with LS, leucoplakia in two patients with LS and one with LP). This study demonstrates the need to adopt standard nomenclature and increase the awareness of epithelial disease associated with SCC of the vulva among clinicians and pathologists.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lichen Planus / complications
  • Lichen Planus / pathology
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus / complications
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / complications*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology