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Signs and Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar cancer occurs in the vulva, which is the outer skin of the female genitalia. Vulvar cancer accounts for about 4% of all female gynecological cancers. It typically occurs later in life, after age sixty, though it can occur at any age. About 90% of vulvar cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, 5% is melanoma, and 1-2% is basal cell carcinoma. In very rare cases, vulvar cancer can be caused by other lesions. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of vulvar cancer below:

The Signs and Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer are as follows:

  • A lump or an ulceration on the vulva
  • Continuous itching
  • Local bleeding
  • Discharge
  • Pain and tenderness in the area

Some women ignore the signs and symptoms of vulvar cancer because of embarrassment. If you have any of the above signs and symptoms, see your doctor.

Vulvar cancer occurs more often in women who smoke, women who have the HIV virus, women who have the HPV (human papilloma virus), and women who have a precancerous condition of the vulva called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia.

Vulvar cancer is very treatable if it is found in its early stages. The 5 year survival rate for patients with stage 1 lesions is over 90%.

Diagnosis of Vulvar Cancer

A diagnosis of vulvar cancer is made through a colposcopy exam, where the vulva is examined with a special lighted microscope. If an unusual lesion is found, a biopsy may be performed to determine whether the tissue is cancer.

Books for Women With Signs and Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer

100 Questions & Answers About Vulvar Cancer and Other Diseases of the Vulva and Vagina
Lara Burrows
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Vulvar Cancer: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
Icon Health Publications

2009 Conquering Cancer – The Empowered Patient’s Complete Reference to Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer – Diagnosis, Treatment Options, Prognosis (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health News
Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer Toolkit – Comprehensive Medical Encyclopedia with Treatment Options, Clinical Data, and Practical Information (Two CD-ROM Set)
U.S. Government

Vulvar Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Information about vulvar cancer treatment, clinical trials, and other topics from the National Cancer Institute.

  • Family Doctor . org

Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of vulvar cancer.

  • About . com

What is vulvar cancer? Explore the basics of vulvar cancer, including the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of the disease.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers: basic information on vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer, the HPV vaccine, signs and symptoms of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and more.

  • Right Health

Full Article « What Is Vulvar Cancer? « Who Is Affected? « What Are The Signs Of Vulvar Cancer? « How Is Vulvar Cancer Diagnosed? « How Is Vulvar Cancer Treated?

  • Moore’s Cancer Center

The Gynecologic Cancer Unit at the Moores Cancer Center provides the latest diagnostic tests and state-of-the-art treatments for cancer of the vulva.

  • Cancer Compass

Join our vulvar cancer forum today for helpful information, support and feedback. Research treatment methods, locate cancer resources and more at,0,119,38,74.htm

  • Daily Strength

Discuss Vulvar Cancer with others who understand what you’re going through.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this cancer of the female genitalia.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.