Vulvar Cancer

Cancer that develops on a woman’s outer genitals, called the vulva, is referred to as vulvar cancer.

Signs & Symptoms:

There are different types of vulvar cancers, each having different symptoms. Pre-cancerous changes of the vulva may be asymptomatic or may cause itching that does not improve or resolve, or sometimes changes in color or texture of the vulvar skin and surrounding area. While invasive cancer of the vulva may also have no symptoms, cancer with symptoms may include the following:

  • Change in vulvar color, either lighter, darker, or reddish or pinkish
  • A bump, lump, or warts on the vulva
  • Thickening of vulvar skin
  • Itching of the vulva
  • Pain or burning
  • Bleeding or discharge that is not related to menstruation
  • An open sore

How Can I Prevent Vulvar Cancer:

While there is no standard screening tool for vulvar cancer, but routine pelvic exams, along with awareness of likely symptoms, can improve the chances of early detection and treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Vulvar Cancer:

Vulvar cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy of the vulvar skin. This can be done in the office with a local anesthetic. If vulvar cancer is confirmed, the main treatment would be surgery, to remove the cancerous tissue. You may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.


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