Vulvar Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Vulvar Cancer is a single type of cancer which forms in female outer genitals. This is the external part of the female reproductive system. This term is also known as outer genitalia
The vulva includes the mons pubis. This is the rounded area in front of the pubic bones that becomes covered with hair at puberty. The vulva has two types of folds skin. The external part of the fold is labia majora. The internal part of folds is called the labia minora. This vulvar cancer is most common in a female who is older than 50 years.
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Is vulvar cancer serious?
Vulvar cancer is serious but if we discover this in its early stages, success rates for a cure are good. If not treated in the early stage, it can expand to the lymph nodes or other tissues and organs, such as the rectum and bladder. Treatment then becomes more complex.
The five-year survival rate for vulvar cancer is 96% if it is not spreading to the lymph nodes. However, many women live much longer.
Types of Vulvar Cancer
The following are the main types of Vulvar cancer:
- Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer begins in the thin, flat cells that line the surface of the vulva. Most vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
- Vulvar melanoma. This type of cancer begins in the pigment-producing cells found in the skin of the vulva.
- Sarcoma originates in the connective tissue. Most types of this cancers are malignant. It is rare.
- Adenocarcinoma originates in a glandular tissue, and in that case, the cells line the glands in the vulva. It accounts for a very tiny proportion of vulvar cancers.
Vulvar Cancer Stages
Stage 1 signifies Vulvar cancer that spread more extensively to the lymph nodes. Or that has spread to the outer portions of the urethra or vagina, or that has spread to the bladder, rectum or pelvic bone. Cancer can spread (metastasized) to different parts of your body
Stage 2 tumors are those that have grown to include nearby structures, such as the lower portions of the urethra, vagina, and anus.
Stage 3 describes a small tumor. It is found between the vulva or the area of skin of vaginal opening and anus.
The cancer is not serious and it does not expand to your lymph nodes or other parts of your body.
Causes of Vulvar Cancer
Vulvar cancer is discussed below:
- A cancerous cell manages to go throughout the body through the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue via a process called an invasion.
- Vulvar Cancer happens when cell growth is out of control
- The cell distribute and grows through a process called angiogenesis, making new blood vessels to feed itself
Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer
Many women who have vulvar cancer have symptoms.
- Sores, lumps, or ulcers on the vulva that do not go far
- Vulvar itching or tenderness
- Bleeding that is not your period changing the color in the skin of the vulva so that it looks reddish or whiter than is normal color of your skin.
- Pain in your pelvis, mostly when you urinate or have sex
- Burning or bleeding and discharge that is not related to the period cycle
- Enlarged glands (lymph nodes) in the groin
- It is most important for you to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. If you have vaginal bleeding that is not normal for you then immediately go to the doctor for the checkup.
Prevention of Vulvar Cancer
- Limit your number of sex with your life partner.
- The more sexual partner you have, the greater your risk of exposure to HPV.
- Use a good quality condom every time when you do sex with your life partner.
- Condoms can reduce your risk of contracting HPV and but can’t fully protect against it.
- Get the HPV vaccine. Young children need to consider the HPV vaccine, protects against the strains of the virus that is a reason to cause the most common cases of vulvar cancer
- Attending scheduled cervical smear tests
- Quit smoking
Treatment of Cancer
Your treatment depends on the type of cancer you have. It depends on the results of lab tests and the stage of cancer. The most common procedure to treat cancer is with surgery and/or radiation.
Surgery is the main treatment for cancer. Extensive surgery results in good cancer outcomes. But it deforms and impairs the woman’s sexual function as well.
We can combine radiations with chemotherapy and surgery to Kill Cancer sells.
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Types of Vulvar Surgery
The following are the main types of Vulvar Surgery
Laser surgery A focused laser beam vaporizes burns out the layer of vulvar skin containing abnormal cells. For the Treatment of VIN (vulvar pre-cancer), we can use Laser Surgery. We cannot treat Invasive caser with Laser Surgery.
Excision Cancer and an edge of normal, healthy skin (usually at least ½ inch) around it and a thin layer of fat below it are excised (cut out). This is sometimes called wide local excision. If extensive (a lot of tissue is removed), it may be called as a simple partial vulvectomy
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We can use Chemotherapy with radiotherapy as part of palliative care. It can be used on the skin, as a cream or lotion, but the method will depend on whether and how far cancer has spread