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March 2010

A Rare Case of Vulvar Melanoma in a Young Woman Who Frequently Tanned in Tanning Parlors

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Sections of Obstetrics (Dr Pawelec) and Gynecologic Surgery (Drs A. Karmowski and M. Karmowski), First Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Silesian Piasts University of Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland.

Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(3):347-348. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.395

Primary vulvar melanoma is rare, especially among young women. The age-standardized incidence rate has remained constant between 0.26 and 0.52 cases per million in our part of Europe.1 The 5-year survival for patients with vulvar melanoma in stage I is 91%; for stage IIA or higher, 31%.2 Early diagnosis may improve survival. Retrospective studies of the last 36 years of treatment with largely surgical methods show no improvement in the overall recovery or disease survival rates. Surgical treatment has not improved prognosis.2,3 Melanoma of the vulva is usually a disease of older women; therefore, the standard surgical treatment may not be applicable to young patients, who have different needs and expectations.

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