Incidence of In Situ Vulvar Carcinoma Rising in the U.S.

Invasive vulvar cancer also rising, but at a much slower rate

WEDNESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- There is an increasing incidence of in situ vulvar carcinoma, and incidence of the invasive form of the disease is also on the rise albeit at a slower rate, according to a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Patricia L. Judson, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues analyzed trends incidence data for a 28-year period (1973 through 2000) from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database. The data included patient characteristics, primary tumor site, tumor grade and follow-up for vital status.

During the period under study, there were 13,176 cases of vulvar carcinoma identified, of which 57 percent were diagnosed as in situ and 44 percent as invasive. There was a 411 percent increase in vulvar carcinoma in situ, while invasive vulvar carcinoma increased 20 percent. There were age differences between the two affected groups: in situ vulvar carcinoma risk increases until age 40 to 49 then decreases, while invasive vulvar cancer risk increases with age, accelerating after age 50.

"We have demonstrated that the incidence of in situ vulvar carcinoma is increasing, similar to the increasing incidence of human papillomavirus in the population. In contrast, the incidence of invasive vulvar cancer has increased at a much lower rate, and the risk continues to increase with age," the authors conclude. "Although human papillomavirus may play a role in both vulvar cancer and cervical cancer, the development of these cancers are dissimilar. Additional factors should be evaluated."

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