Cervical squamous carcinoma in situ and vaginal adenosis cancer risk in DES-exposed offspring

Cancer risk in diethylstilbestrol-exposed offspring, 1976 findings

DiEthylStilbestrol usage review buttress the need for adequate and rigorous research into the use of drugs in pregnancy and ensure that they do more good than harm before being introduced for consumption.

1976 Study Abstract

The occurrence of columnar epithelium in the vagina (vaginal adenosis) in young women with intrauterine exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the first trimester of pregnancy was observed in 231 patients (82 per cent of 280 cases who underwent colposcopic study). Extension of columnar epithelium onto the portio of the cervix was present in the remaining 18 per cent of the cases. Abnormal colposcopic findings were present in the transformation zone in 96 per cent of the patients with vaginal adenosis. Directed biopsy revealed four cases of vaginal and/or cervical squamous carcinoma in situ (CIS), two cases of severe dysplasia, five cases of moderate, and 29 cases of mild dysplasia. The prevalence of CIS in DES-exposed girls (1.4 per cent) was nearly five times the prevalence rate of CIS in a control group of 5,808 DES-unexposed women (0.44 per cent). This finding correlates well with the hypothesis that the genesis of squamous intraepithelial neoplasia is specifically related to the extent and surface area of the vaginal transformation zone. An unusual case of invasive squamous carcinoma in a DES-exposed young girl is presented, which represents the initial observation of this association to date.

Sources and more information
  • Cancer risk in diethylstilbestrol-exposed offspring, Mattingly RF, Stafl A., NCBI PMID: 984124, Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1976 Nov 1;126(5):543-8.
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