Vulvar cancer

Cancer of the vulva is a rare disease accounting for only 3 to 5% of all gynecologic cancers. An increased incidence has been noted recently among young women and is associated with HPV-infection. In contrast, older women do not have clear link with experience or previous HPV-infection. HPV is responsible for an one third of vulvar cancers. Due to the complexity of diagnosing and treating cancer, it is advised that a gynecologic-oncologist (gynecologist with special additional education in the field of gynecological oncology) deal with this disease.

For an examination and consultation, make an appointment at our gynecological clinic. An online consultation is also available.

What is vulvar cancer?

– The vulva is the external genitalia of a woman. When a normal vulvar cell changes to an abnormal one and begins to multiply without control, vulvar cancer occurs. The average age of a woman who is diagnosed with vulvar cancer is 68 years.

What are the symptoms of vulvar cancer?

– The most common symptom is itching. Often a woman notices a small growth on the skin of the vulva, sometimes in the groin. Women also can be asymptomatic.

These symptoms can be caused by some other diseases, but if you notice them, contact us for an examination or online consultation.

Is there a test for vulvar cancer?

– Yes. To confirm that the alteration in the vulva is cancer, it is necessary to come for an examination and if the gynecologist found it suspicious for cancer she will take a biopsy.

What is cancer staging?

– Determining how far the cancer has spread.

What is the appropriate treatment for vulvar cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, but also on how fast it grows, how old the woman is and whether she has other medical problems.

How is vulvar cancer treated?

– For the majority of vulva cancers an operation is standard procedure. An operation sometimes includes a lymph nodes removing from the groin region. Some women will not need further treatment after the operation, while some will need radiation therapy.

Surgery is not recommended for the cases where the cancer has spread deep into the surrounding organs. In that cases radiation and chemotherapy are therapeutic choices.

What happens after the treatment?

– After treatment, you will be checked every so often to see if the cancer comes back. Follow-up tests can include colposcopy exams, and imaging examinations. It is important to follow all your doctor’s instructions about visits and tests. It’s also important to talk to your gynecologist about any side effects or problems you have during treatment.

You should also pay attention for symptoms of itching, swelling of the legs, and pelvic pain. Let us know if you notice these symptoms. They could mean that the cancer has returned.

What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?

– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you may have more surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?

– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you might have more surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Can a young woman with vulvar cancer get pregnant?

– Vulvar cancer is rare in young women. However, there is this possibility in case a young woman has vulvar cancer.