Library Home eChapter The Oncologist’s Perspective

The Oncologist’s Perspective

Although cancers of the vulva and vagina are uncommon, they are a particularly challenging disease to treat. Understanding the diagnosis and management of benign, pre-malignant and malignant pathologies is greatly enhanced when conducted in a collaborative manner with a gynaecologic oncologist, or with an understanding of the fundamentals of an oncological approach. To address this need, this eChapter provides an introductory review of the oncologists perspective towards the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the vulva and vagina.

The author begins by reviewing the known incidence of cancer of the vulva and vagina, and points out that although the lifetime risk for a woman is 1:500, this is relatively uncommon compared to the lifetime risk of breast cancer, which is is 1:10. The importance of a collaborative approach to assessment, diagnosis and management is emphasized, particularly the relationship between the gynecologic oncologist and the pathologist and the sharing of intra-operative findings and clinical information. Benign conditions are then examined, especially Lichen sclerosus and Condylomata acuminita, and how thay might be treated. Pre-malignant conditions are then reviewed, with particular attention paid to describing vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN), biopsy techniques and sugival or laser options for treatment. The chapter concludes with an extended discussion of malignancies and the challenges of treatment, and lists the most common sarcomas of the vulva and vagina, emphasizing the importance of biopsy for early diagnosis.

This eChapter forms part of the Ausmed publication The Vulva and Vaginal Manual, edited by Graeme Dennerstein, James Scurry, John Brenan, David Allen and Maria-Grazia Marin. A richly illustrated and comprehensive guide to the identification and treatment of over 275 vulvovaginal diseases The Vulva and Vagina Manual is an invaluable resource especially suitable for:

  • Gynecologists
  • Dermatologists
  • General Practitioners
  • Obstetricians
  • Midwives
  • General nurses
  • Practice nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners

There are also 14 additional eChapters from The Vulva and Vaginal Manual available for members to download from the Ausmed website. Subscription also entitles members to access the full range of resources that compliment and build upon the material described within The Vulva and Vaginal Manual, including a richly populated catalogue of Audio Lectures, Fast Facts and Video Learning Activities on the topics of gynecology, obstetrics, oncology, women’s health and a wide range of other healthcare topics. Both members and non-subscribers alike may also purchase a hard copy of this book of from the Ausmed Education Online Bookstore, along with hard copies of the complimentary publication Gynecological Cancer Care: A Guide to Practice.

Contents include

  • Statistical risk summaries for cancers of the vulva and vagina
  • Benign conditions such as Lichen sclerosus and Condylomata acuminita
  • Pre-malignant neoplasms such as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Malignant conditions of the vulva, including sarcomas, leiomyosarcoma, sarcoma botryoides, and many more
  • Malignancies of the vagina
  • Treatment options, including diathermy, laser therapy and surgery.
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Author / Editor Biographies

John Brenan is a dermatologist practicing in Melbourne. He is a past President of the Australian College of Dermatology, consultant dermatologist to the Mercy Hospital for Women and the original dermatologist for the Dermogynaecology Clinic.
David Allen is a certified gynaecological oncologist practicing at the Mercy Hospital for Women and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne.
James Scurry is one of Australia's leading gynaecological pathologists. He is a pathologist in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Dr Dennerstein is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with medical expertise in the health of the vulva and vagina. He is the former Head of the Dermo-gynaecology Clinic at The Mercy Hospital for Women and co-author of the book entitled: The Vulva and Vagina Manual. He has lectured extensively on this topic, both internationally and nationally. Graeme has extensive experience in family planning and reproductive health. In 1971 he established the Family Planning and Infertility Clinic at the Western General Hospital in Melbourne, serving as its director until 1986. From 1980 to 1989 he was the ...
Grazia Marin is a psychologist in private practice in Melbourne and past committee member and Education Officer of the Victorian Psychosexual Society. She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Diseases and is serving on its Patient Education and Sexual Difficulties committees.

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