Vulvar cancer

Vulvar cancer is a type of cancer that occurs on the outer surface area of the female genitalia. The vulva is the area of skin that surrounds the urethra and vagina, including the clitoris and labia.

Vulvar cancer commonly forms as a lump or sore on the vulva that often causes itching. Though it can occur at any age, vulvar cancer is most commonly diagnosed in older women.

Vulvar cancer treatment usually involves surgery to remove the cancer and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue. Sometimes vulvar cancer surgery requires removing the entire vulva. The earlier vulvar cancer is diagnosed, the less likely an extensive surgery is needed for treatment.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Prevention

Signs and symptoms of vulvar cancer may include:

  • Itching that doesn't go away
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Bleeding that isn't from menstruation
  • Skin changes, such as color changes or thickening
  • A lump, wart-like bumps or an open sore (ulcer)

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your primary care doctor or gynecologist if you experience any vulvar signs or symptoms that worry you, such as:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Pain

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