Management options for vulvar carcinoma in a low resource setting

Ahizechukwu C. Eke, Lilian I. Alabi-Isama, Josephat C. Akabuike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Vulvar carcinoma is a rare tumor of the female genital tract. In Nigeria, very few studies have looked at the management options for vulvar carcinoma. The objective of this study was therefore, to describe the management options available and the challenges in treating this malignancy in Nigeria.Methods: A descriptive study of all vulvar cancer cases managed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi over a 12 year period (1998-2009). The theatre, ward register, histo-pathologic records and case notes of all women who had surgery for vulvar carcinomas were retrieved and socio-demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, type of surgery, histologic type and complications of treatment were retrieved and analyzed.Results: There were 867 gynecological malignancies and vulval carcinoma accounted for 11 cases, giving a prevalence of 1.27%. The ages ranged from 54 to 79 years with a mean of 61.2 years. Parity was 2-14, with a mean of 6.7± 2.33. Most of the patients were of low socio-economic class. All the 11 patients had surgery as 1st line treatment. Radical vulvectomy was done for 6 cases since they presented in the advanced stage. The complications of surgery included hemorrhage (18.2%), chronic lymphedema, wound infection and anesthetic complications. There were no hospital mortalities. Late presentation, with stage III (45.4%) was the commonest stage at presentation while the majority of the vulvar carcinomas (72.7%) were of epithelial origin. Squamous cell carcinoma predominated (63.6%).Conclusion: Carcinoma of the vulva is a rare gynecological malignancy in Nigeria. Surgery and radiotherapy remains the mainstay of this disease in Nigeria and can be highly successful if patients present early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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