Vulval cancer symptoms may include:
- A recurring irritation in the vulva.
- Pain, discomfort, or soreness in the vulva.
- Raised and thickened areas of skin that might be red, white, or black.
- A lump or wart-like development on the vulva.
- Between periods, there may be vulval bleeding or blood-stained vaginal discharge.
- A vulva with an infected sore.
- A sharp discomfort when urinating.
- A vulvar mole that changes form or colour.
- Increasing age.
- VIN (vulval intraepithelial neoplasia) is a condition in which the cells in the vulva are abnormal and may develop into cancer.
- Prolonged human papillomavirus infection (HPV).
- Vulva skin disorders, such as lichen sclerosus.
The primary treatment for vulval cancer is surgery to remove cancerous tissue from the vulva and any lymph nodes carrying cancerous cells.
Some patients may also get radiotherapy, in which radiation is used to destroy cancer cells, or chemotherapy, in which medication is used to kill cancer cells or both.
If you are too sick to have surgery or the cancer has progressed and cannot be removed completely, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be used instead.
You may be able to lower your risk by doing the following:
Practising safer sex – Using a contraceptive during sex can provide some HPV protection.
Attending cervical screenings – Cervical screening can identify HPV and precancerous disorders, including vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN).
The HPV vaccine may also lessen your risk of obtaining vulval cancer.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD
Page last reviewed: 03 February 2023