What is Vulva Cancer?

Vulva cancer affects the area between a woman’s legs that area is known as the vulva and cancer can occur anywhere in that area.  There are various types of vulva cancer, some grow slowly, some grow quickly and one type takes many years to develop. The cancer itself is very rare only a thousand women in the UK are affected by it per year, the cancer is not infectious and the causes of it are unknown.

Typical symptoms include, itching or soreness of the vulva, a lump or wart-like growth or a mole on the vulva that changes shape or colour. These symptoms could be related to another condition so it is advised to check with a doctor before performing a self-diagnosis.

To diagnose the condition a specialist will examine the vulva to look for any abnormalities and examine the entire vagina and even the anus to see if there are any indications that the cancer has spread. A small amount of tissue known as a biopsy will be taken to diagnose the cancer itself and what kind of treatment is needed. A CT scan, blood tests and a chest x-ray maybe used to ensure that the cancer is nowhere else in the body.

Surgery is the most effective most of treatment with many vulva cancers simply being removed; surgery may also be used in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The surgeon will attempt to preserve the condition of the vulva if he or she can do so, the type of surgery will vary depending on the type of cancer that is involved. Radiotherapy maybe used first to shrink the cancer so that surgery is easier to perform, it may also be used to destroy any remaining cancerous cells after the procedure. No matter what state of growth the cancer is in treatment is the best option to either slow or completely remove the cancer.

Filed Under: Vulva Cancer

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