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Extramammary Paget's disease of the vulva: report of five cases and review of the literature.

Five patients with vulvar extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) are reported. They accounted for 4.4% of all vulvar malignancies diagnosed in the south of Israel between 1961-1997. Mean age was 64.4 years and the predominant symptom was vulvar pruritus. Three patients had intra-epidermal lesions (managed by wide local excision or, at most, simple vulvectomy), one had a minimally invasive lesion (managed by simple vulvectomy) and one had EMPD with an underlying apocrine gland adenocarcinoma (managed by radical vulvectomy and bilateral groin dissection followed by pelvic radiotherapy). EMPD recurred in two patients: 1) local recurrence after simple hemivulvectomy for an intra-epidermal lesion was successfully treated by wide local excision; 2) widespread recurrence at distant skin sites after simple vulvectomy for a minimally invasive lesion was unsuccessfully treated with systemic chemotherapy. It is concluded that vulvar EMPD is an uncommon neoplasm that primarily affects postmenopausal women. Its histogenesis is uncertain and most commonly it is an intra-epidermal lesion. The high rate of recurrent disease remains a challenge for optimal management.

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