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Vulvar Cancer

What is vulvar cancer?

Vulvar cancer is a cancer type that grows in the vulva which is the external female genitalia part. It is a rare type of cancer. The vulva includes labia majora- outer lips, labia minora- inner lips, clitoris, and vaginal opening. This type of cancer often starts in the skin cells covering the vulva. If you suspect you have Vulvar Cancer, get in touch with us to book an appointment with our doctors to get effective treatment and prevent the infection from worsening.

Types of Vulvar Cancer

One of the most common types of vulvar cancer is squamous cell carcinoma which grows from thin, flat cells lining the vulva surface. Other types include:

  • Adenocarcinoma 
  • Melanoma 
  • Basal cell carcinoma

Vulvar Cancer Symptoms

Vulvar cancer symptoms differ from person to person, and some females might not even experience any symptoms in the early stages. The common symptoms of vulvar cancer are discussed below that help in determining the existence of cancerous cells: 

  • Persistent itching or pain: Itching or pain in the vulva
  • Skin discoloration: It might look red, pink, or white in color
  • Abnormal lumps or bumps
  • Ulceration or sores
  • Bleeding or discharge: Unusual bleeding from the vulva and abnormal discharge 
  • Painful urination or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Enlarged lymph nodes: Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area

Vulvar Causes

While the exact vulvar cancer cause is not always known, there are various factors that have been found to be contributors to this type of cancer causes:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to an increased risk of vulvar cancer
  • Age- Females who are above 50
  • Precancerous conditions: It involves vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) or lichen sclerosis
  • Smoking
  • Immunosuppression: Females who have weak immune systems or have undergone organ transplantation or are living with HIV/AIDS are at a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer
  • Chronic skin conditions: It involves vulvar lichen planus or vulvar lichen sclerosis
  • Family history
  • Obesity

Vulvar Cancer Diagnosis

A vulvar cancer diagnosis is initiated by a doctor by combining medical history evaluation, physical examination, and several diagnostic tests. The commonly used methods to diagnose vulvar cancer are:

  • Medical history and physical examination: It involves reviewing the medical history, including any symptoms the patient is experiencing. 
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. It helps in determining the existence of cancerous cells. 
  • Colposcopy: It assists in examining the vulva, vagina, and cervix closely.
  • Imaging tests: These tests involve computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

Vulvar Cancer Treatment

Vulvar cancer treatment may differ depending on the cancer stage, the overall patient’s health, and the preferences of an individual. Treatment options that are usually followed to treat vulvar cancer are:

  • Surgery: Surgical procedures may include local excision, vulvectomy, and lymphadenectomy
  • Radiation Therapy: It helps in destroying cancer cells. It has two types which involve external beam radiation and brachytherapy (internal radiation). 
  • Chemotherapy: It involves the use of drugs for killing cancer cells. It is generally used by combining surgery or radiation therapy. 
  • Immunotherapy: It helps in stimulating body functions to fight cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, like pembrolizumab or nivolumab, are examples of immunotherapy drugs.
  • Targeted Therapy: It is used for the types of vulvar cancer that have specific genetic alterations. Instances of targeted therapy drugs used for vulvar cancer are trastuzumab and lapatinib.

Why should you choose The Calcutta Medical Research Institute for Vulvar Cancer?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, revolutionizing the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes.

In addition, CMRI has several eminent specialists, doctors, and healthcare providers of national and international reputations for comprehensive and personalized treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients seeking treatment for vulvar cancer. Here are a few advantages of choosing CMRI for vulvar cancer:

  • Highly qualified and experienced doctors
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Thorough screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric, high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.


Can a smear test detect Vulvar Cancer?

No, a smear test doesn’t detect vulvar cancer.

Can Vulvar Cancer be cured?

Yes, vulvar cancer is curable with treatment options like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.

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