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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 330-334

Pathology of vaginal cancers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A 14-year study

Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D Seleye-Fubara
Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18293645

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BACKGROUND: Primary malignancies of the vagina are rare as most are metastatic lesions. This study documents a 14-year experience in a tertiary institution in South Southern, Nigeria. DESIGN AND SETTING: A retrospective study of clinical presentations including anatomic sites and histopathologic diagnosis of cancers of the vagina in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital METHODOLOGY: The tissues received for histologic diagnosis were fixed in 10% formal saline, processed and embedded in paraffin wax. Microtome sections of the tissue (3 -5 microns) were taken and mounted on glass slides and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) stains. Cases in which both the slide and blocks could not be traced were excluded from the study. RESULTS: A total of 2389 malignancies were diagnosed during the period under review of which 344 were gynaecological. Fifteen cases of vaginal cancers satisfied the criteria for the study, constituting 0.63% and 4.36% of the total and gynaecological malignancies respectively. Five cases (33.33%) occurred in children below the age of 20 years, while 10 cases (66.67%) were in adults. The peak incidence was in the group 0 9 and 60-69 years. Irregular vaginal bleeding was the commonest clinical presentation and the upper posterior vaginal wall was the commonest anatomic site. The most frequent histological type was the non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma while FIGO stage 111 (46.67%) cancer was the commonest stage at presentation. CONCLUSION: Vaginal cancers are rare in this environment but they contribute to high morbidity and mortality among women of all ages as the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage.

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