Women with vulvar cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, women with vulvar cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. A lump or growth in or on the vulvar area. A patch of skin that is differently textured or colored than the rest of the vulvar area
• Persistent itching, pain, soreness, or burning in the vulvar area
• Painful urination
• Bleeding or discharge that is not menstrual blood
• An ulcer that persists for more than one month
• A change in the appearance of an existing mole (specific to vulvar melanoma)
• Wart-like growths that are similar to genital warts
HOW IS VULVAR CANCER DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis is done by doing a tissue test along with a scan of the area.
HOW IS VULVAR CANCER TREATED?
Staging and treatment are generally handled by an oncologist familiar with gynecologic cancer. Surgery is a mainstay of therapy depending on anatomical staging and is usually reserved for cancers that have not spread beyond the vulva. Surgery may involve a wide local excision, radical partial vulvectomy, or radical complete vulvectomy with removal of vulvar tissue, inguinal and femoral lymph nodes. In cases of early vulvar cancer, the surgery may be less extensive and consist of wide excision or a simple vulvectomy. Surgery is significantly more extensive when the cancer has spread to nearby organs such as the urethra, vagina, or rectum. Complications of surgery include wound infection, sexual dysfunction, edema and thrombosis, as well as lymphedema secondary to dissected lymph nodes.
DID YOU KNOW?
The problem of vulvar cancer is not to be taken lightly as it tends to spread and could be fatal in the long run.