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INTRODUCTION: Vulval cancer is a rare gynaecological malignancy. In this study, we present a tertiary centre case analysis to examine the recurrence patterns and survival outcomes of vulval squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of women who received treatment at Oxford University Hospitals between February 2010 and July 2022 for primary vulval SCC. RESULTS: We included 98 cases. The median age at diagnosis was 68 years. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and lichen sclerosis were observed in 21 and 50 cases, respectively. Surgical excision was the primary treatment. Recurrence within 2 years was more common with advanced stage (p = 0.047, RR = 2.26) and extracapsular lymph node spread (p = 0.013, RR = 2.88). Local recurrence was not associated with a specific cut-off value for tumour-free margin. Poor survival outcomes were observed with higher grade (p = 0.01), advanced FIGO stage (p < 0.001), HPV-independent cancer (p = 0.048), lymph node involvement (p < 0.001, HR = 7.14), extracapsular spread (p < 0.001, HR = 7.93), lymphovascular space invasion (p = 0.002, HR = 3.17), tumour diameter wider than 23 mm (p = 0.029, HR = 2.53) and depth of invasion more than 6 mm (p = 0.006, HR = 3.62). Perineural invasion is associated with shorter disease-free survival. Five-year cancer-specific survival rates for stages I, III, and IV were 90.2%, 40.8%, and 14.3%, respectively.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Surg Oncol

Publication Date





Cancer, Recurrence, SCC, Squamous cell carcinoma, Survival, VSCC, Vulva