JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Primary invasive carcinoma of the vagina.

A retrospective review was conducted of 53 women with invasive carcinoma of the vagina and without documented exposure to diethylstilbestrol who were seen at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center from 1976-1988. Forty-seven (89%) had squamous cell carcinoma and six (11%) adenocarcinoma. Thirty-seven (70%) were treated with whole-pelvis irradiation and brachytherapy, nine with surgery alone, and the other seven with a combination of treatments. The crude and corrected 2-year survival rates for the entire group were 47 and 69%, respectively. Those with previous pelvic surgery were more likely to develop serious treatment-related complications. There was a statistically significant correlation between previous hysterectomy and the diagnosis of primary invasive carcinoma of the vagina after the onset of symptoms. Women diagnosed during routine examination, before symptom onset, tended to have a survival advantage. All women, including those who have had hysterectomy, should be counseled to continue gynecologic cancer surveillance regardless of age.

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