Background: This study was conducted to determine practice patterns in the management of vaginal malignancy.
Methods: The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a large central registry of hospital case data, was reviewed for the 10-year period 1985-1994 for patients registered with a primary diagnosis of vaginal cancer. Patients with a prior history of malignancy were excluded.
Results: Between 1985-1994 4885 cases of vaginal cancer were submitted to NCDB. More than 90% were epithelial neoplasia with approximately 25% of these in situ lesions only. Squamous carcinoma was more common as the age of the patient progressed. Adenocarcinomas represented nearly all the carcinomas in the group of patients age < 20 years and were observed less frequently with advanced age. Relative survival at 5 years was stage-related: Stage 0: 96%; Stage I: 73%; Stage II: 58%; and Stages III-IV: 36%. Melanoma had an extremely poor prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of only 14%. A significant number of sarcomas occurred in children for whom chemotherapy played a major role in treatment. Chemotherapy was used less frequently in the older patients. Survival was better in the younger patients (90% vs. 30% in the older patients).
Conclusions: Although vaginal cancer is the rarest of genital malignancies, it appears that treatment and results from the NCDB reported from multiple institutions followed prescribed treatment guidelines.