- Benign Tumors and Tumor-like Lesions
After completing this tutorial the student
will be able to:
- list benign tumors and tumor-like lesions
of the vulva
- describe their clinical features
- describe/recognize histologic features
- state clinical behavior/treatment
- Fibroepithelial polyp (acrochordon; skin or cutaneous tag)
A fibroepithelial polyp is a flesh-colored, hyper- or hypo-pigmented,
soft, pedunculated or sessile mass that involves the hair-bearing
skin of the vulva. It ranges in size from 1mm to 3 cm.
It is benign and has no malignant potential. It may bleed from
trauma. Large lesions may present cosmetic problems.
- Hidradenoma papilliferum
This is a benign neoplasm of apocrine sweat gland origin.
A hidradenoma papilliferum forms a small subcutaneous, dome-shaped
mass less than 2 cm in size. It presents most commonly on the
labia majora but may also occur on the labia minora and interlabial
sulci. Very occasionally, it may involve the apocrine glands of
the nipple areola or the perianal region. The tumor is not found
before puberty and is virtually only seen in Caucasian women.
Microscopically, the lesion is well circumscribed and composed
of a cystic space into which projects a papillary structure with
delicate fibrovascular branching stalks and numerous tubules and
acini lined by inner cuboidal or columnar epithelium with an outer
compressed layer of myoepithelial cells.
Low power view showing cystic space into which project complex
High power view showing papillary fronds, tubules and acini,
and the two-celled wall.
Benign but can be confused clinically with malignant tumor because
of its propensity to ulcerate.
- Ectopic breast tissue
Occurrence of breast tissue in the vulva is considered to be
ectopic. This occurs as an extension of breast tissue in the "milk
The lesion has a variable presentation ranging from small isolated
glands or nodules, which are first noticed during pregnancy due
to enlargement, to large bilateral masses.
The histological appearances are identical to mammary tissue
in breasts. The spectrum of changes seen in breast tissue, including
fibrocystic and lactational changes may be present.
Benign. On rare occasions adenocarcinoma may develop.