Comparison of cytohormonal status of postmenopausal women with cancer to age-matched controls
To determine whether the cytohormonal status of postmenopausal women with cancer involving the uterus and vagina differs from that of women free of cancer, 100 women 60 years of age or older with positive cervicovaginal smears were compared with an age-matched control group without malignant neoplasms. Epidermoid carcinoma was identified in 64 patients (average age: 67 years) and adenocarcinoma in 34 patients (average age: 69 years). One patient had leiomyosarcoma, and another had bladder carcinoma. The paucity of benign squamous cells in the smears precluded hormonal evaluation in 32% of the index cases; the smears from 10% of the controls were also indeterminate. Of the evaluable cases with epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix, a high maturation was noted in 46% as compared to 11% for the matched controls. In addition, high maturation was noted in 69% of those patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma as compared to 19% for the matched controls. None of the index cases were atrophic; 31% of the controls were. A history of exogenous estrogen usage was obtained in three patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma, all with high maturation, and in five controls, none with high maturation. These data appear to indicate a difference in the cytohormonal status of patients with cervical or endometrial carcinoma as compared to those without; consequently, cytologists should be especially attentive to smears showing high maturation from postmenopausal women.