VIN vs. HPV

Last Modified: August 8, 2008

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My 20 year-old daughter was just diagnosed with VIN 2 Differentiated Type and the pathology supports a high-risk HPV infection. It sounds like this is the rare differentiated/simplex VIN, which wasn't caused by the HPV right? Have you seen anyone her age with this, because I can't find anyone even close (others have the usual/wart kind)? I've found so little information/help on this type (this type more often is the precursor to Vulvar Cancer, right?). What information can you share and what treatment should we seek for a girl her age? Thank you so much!!!

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

VIN, "differentiated type" is an uncommon pathologic diagnosis that is usually not associated with HPV infection. That being said, about 70-80% of girls and women have been exposed to the HPV virus, so it may be possible to have a concurrent HPV infection that may not be the direct cause of the differentiated VIN lesion, per se.

Given the prevalence of HPV in the general population, it is not uncommon to see young women with vulvar dysplasia. I would recommend evaluation by a gynecologic oncologist for a full colposcopic examination of the vulva and discussion of various treatment options, which, depending on the results of the exam, may include close observation, laser, or excision.

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