Vulvar Cancer

Below you will find more information about Vulvar Cancer from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Vulvar Cancer it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Vulvar Cancer and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Vulvar Cancer comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Vulvar cancer pertains to a rare carcinoma affecting the vulva, the outer part of the female genitalia. It usually occurs in women aged 55-85, although it may sometimes affect females under 40 years old.

Diagnosis

Vulvar cancer is initially suspected based on clinical symptoms, a physical examination, a pelvic exam, and the patient's medical history. To rule out other noncanceroud conditions, a biopsy is almost always required, including excisional biopsy and punch biopsy. Imaging tests such as chest x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, computerized tomography scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) are also recommended to determine if the cancer has spread.

Treatment

Possible surgical interventions for treating vulvar cancer include: laser surgery, excision, vulvectomy, pelvic exenteration, and lymph node removal. Other treatment techniques that may be used are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In some cases, reconstructive surgery may be required to replace the skin removed from the vulva.

Symptoms and Signs

Common symptoms of vulvar cancer include: persistent itching of the genitalia; a burning sensation, pain, or tenderness in the vaginal area; bleeding unrelated to the menstrual cycle; visible changes in the color or texture of the skin; and the appearance of lumps and open sores or ulcers.

Causes

Vulvar cancer has no specific cause, but it has been associated with mutations or defects of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, which plays a role in preventing cells from becoming cancerous. In addition, women with vulvar cancer often have lichen sclerosus, or a condition in which the vulvar skin becomes thin and itchy. Other risk factors include smoking and precancerous skin conditions.

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