BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuVulvar cancerCancer - vulva; Cancer - perineum; Cancer - vulvar; Genital warts - vulvar cancer; HPV - vulvar cancerVulvar cancer is cancer that starts in the vulva. Vulvar cancer most often affects the labia, the folds of skin outside the vagina. In some cases, vulvar cancer starts on the clitoris or in glands on the sides of the vaginal opening. VulvaThe vulva is made up of the female genital parts that are outside the body. It includes the "lips" or folds of skin (labia), clitoris, and the openi...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Most vulvar cancers begin in skin cells called squamous cells. Other types of cancers found on the vulva are:Adenocarcinoma Basal cell carcinoma Melanoma Sarcoma Vulvar cancer is rare. Risk factors include:CancerCancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Human papilloma virus (HPV, or genital warts) infection in women under age 50 Genital wartsGenital warts are soft growths on the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals. They may be found on the penis, vulva, urethra, vagina, cervix, and...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chronic skin changes, such as lichen sclerosis or squamous hyperplasia in women over age 50 History of cervical cancer or vaginal cancer Cervical cancerCervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Vaginal cancerVaginal cancer is cancer of the vagina, a female reproductive organ.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Smoking Women with a condition called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) have a high risk of developing vulvar cancer that spreads. Most cases of VIN, though, never lead to cancer.Other possible risk factors may include:History of abnormal Pap smears Pap smearsThe Pap test checks for cervical cancer. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope. The cervix is the lower part...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Having many sexual partners Having first sexual intercourse at 16 or younger Symptoms Women with this condition will often have itching around the vagina for years. They may have used different skin creams. They may also have bleeding or discharge outside their periods.Other skin changes that may occur around the vulva:Mole or freckle, which may be pink, red, white, or gray Skin thickening or lump Skin sore (ulcer) Other symptoms:Pain or burning with urination Pain or burning with urinationPainful urination is any pain, discomfort, or burning sensation when passing urine.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Pain with intercourse Unusual odor Some women with vulvar cancer have no symptoms. Exams and Tests The following tests are used to diagnose vulvar cancer:Biopsy BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article CT scan or MRI of the pelvis to look for cancer spread CT scanA computed tomography (CT) scan of the pelvis is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the area between the hip bo...Read Article Now Book Mark Article MRI of the pelvisA pelvis MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses a machine with powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pelvic examination to look for any skin changes Positron emission tomography (PET) scan ColposcopyColposcopyA colposcopy is a special way of looking at the cervix. It uses a light and a low-powered microscope to make the cervix appear much larger. This he...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Treatment involves surgery to remove the cancer cells. If the tumor is large (more than 2 cm) or has grown deeply into the skin, the lymph nodes in the groin area may also be removed.Radiation, with or without chemotherapy, may be used to treat:RadiationRadiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays, particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article ChemotherapyThe term chemotherapy is used to describe cancer-killing drugs. Chemotherapy may be used to:Cure the cancer Shrink the cancerPrevent the cancer from...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Advanced tumors that cannot be treated with surgery Vulvar cancer that comes back Support Groups You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.Cancer support groupThe following organizations are good resources for information on cancer:American Cancer Society -- www. cancer. orgAmerican Childhood Cancer Organiz...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) Most women with vulvar cancer who are diagnosed and treated at an early stage do well. But a woman's outcome depends on:The size of the tumor The type of vulvar cancer Whether the cancer has spread The cancer commonly comes back at or near the site of the original tumor. Possible Complications Complications may include:Spread of the cancer to other areas of the body Side effects of radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks:Local irritation Skin color change Sore on the vulva Prevention Practicing safer sex may decrease your risk for vulvar cancer. This includes using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).Safer sexSafe sex means taking steps before and during sex that can prevent you from getting an infection, or from giving an infection to your partner....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article A vaccine is available to protect against certain forms of HPV infection. The vaccine is approved to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. It may help prevent other cancers linked to HPV, such as vulvar cancer. The vaccine is given to young girls before they become sexually active, and to adolescents and women up to age 45.VaccineThe human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against infection by certain strains of HPV. HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV ha...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Routine pelvic exams can help detect vulvar cancer at an earlier stage. Earlier diagnosis improves your chances that treatment will be successful.Open ReferencesReferencesFrumovitz M, Bodurka DC. Neoplastic diseases of the vulva: lichen sclerosus, intraepithelial neoplasia, paget disease, and carcinoma. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 30.Jhingran A, Russell AH, Seiden MV, et al. Cancers of the cervix, vulva, and vagina. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 84.Koh WJ, Greer BE, Abu-Rustum NR, et al. Vulvar cancer, Version 1.2017, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017;15(1):92-120. PMID: 28040721 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28040721/.National Cancer Institute website. Vulvar cancer treatment (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/vulvar/hp/vulvar-treatment-pdq. Updated January 30, 2020. Accessed January 31, 2020.AllVideoImagesTogFemale perineal anatomy - illustration The female external reproductive anatomy includes the vagina. Female perineal anatomyillustrationFemale perineal anatomy - illustration The female external reproductive anatomy includes the vagina. Female perineal anatomyillustrationRelated Information Squamous cell skin cancer(Condition)Genital warts(Condition)Cancer(Condition)Cervical cancer(Condition)Vaginal cancer(Condition)Diabetes(Condition)Overweight(Symptoms)High blood pressure - adults(Condition)Cervical cancer(In-Depth)Diabetes - type 1(In-Depth)Weight control and diet(In-Depth) Review Date: 1/21/2020 Reviewed By: Howard Goodman, MD, Gynecologic Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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