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5.4 Follow-up

Patients should be reminded that it is their responsibility to keep their recommended follow-up appointments. The objectives of the follow-up visits are as follows: 

  1. To determine the patient's immediate response to the treatment employed    
  2. Early recognition and prompt management of treatment related complications
  3. Early detection of persistent or recurrent disease    
  4. Collection of meaningful data regarding the efficacy of existing treatment policies and their complications so that any appropriate modifications can be instituted
These objectives are best met by having the initial follow-up examination performed by BC Cancer medical staff. When appropriate, arrangements will be made for follow-up by the referring physician.


Year 1
every 4 months
Years 2-5
every 6 months
Years 5+


Year 1
first visit at 1 month, then every 2 months
Years 2-5
every 6 months
Years 5+

Note: follow-up consists of general exam, pelvic exam and annual Pap smear screening.


  1. Heaps JM, Fu YS, Montz FJ, Hacker NF, Berek JS. Surgical-pathologic variables predictive of local recurrence in squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva. Gynecol Oncol. 1990;38(3):309-314.
  2. Levenback CF, Ali S, Coleman RL, et al. Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy in women with squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva: A gynecologic oncology group study. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30(31):3786-3791.
  3. Van der Zee AG, Oonk MH, De Hullu JA, et al. Sentinel node dissection is safe in the treatment of early-stage vulvar cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(6):884-889.
  4. Slomovitz B, Oonk M, Monk B, et al. Radiotherapy as an alternative treatment for inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy in vulvar cancer patients with a metastatic sentinel node. Results of GROINSS-V II/GOG270 presented at SGO 2020
  5. Covens A, Vella ET, Kennedy EB, et al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in vulvar cancer: Systematic review, meta-analysis and guideline recommendations. Gynecol Oncol. 2015; (137):351-361.
  6. Homesley HD, Bundy BN, Sedlis A, Adcock L. Radiation therapy versus pelvic node resection for carcinoma of the vulva with positive groin nodes. Obstet Gynecol. 1986; (6): 733-40
  7. Hacker NF, Eifel PJ, van der Velden J. Cancer of the vulva. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012;119 Suppl 2:S90-6.

SOURCE: 5.4 Follow-up ( )
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