Vulvar cancer

What is vulvar cancer?
Vulvar cancer is a rare cancer of the female reproductive system that starts on the external genitalia of the woman. The vulva includes the inner and outer lips of the vagina and the opening of the vagina and the clitoris.

What causes vulvar cancer?
The exact cause of uterine cancer remains unknown, but a couple of factors have been identified why may increase the risk of a woman developing it:
• Being infected with HPV
• Older age

Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that a woman will definitely get vulvar cancer but can increase her chances of developing it.

What are the symptoms of vulvar cancer?
Common symptoms of vulvar cancer may include the following, although these can also be indicative of other conditions:
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting
• Soreness or itchiness in the vulva
• Swelling or a lump in the vulva

How is vulvar cancer diagnosed?
At KHCC, a variety of diagnostic techniques are used to accurately detect and stage vulvar cancer including:
• Pelvic exam to check the uterus, vagina, and nearby tissues for any lumps or changes in shape or size.
• biopsy to test for any abnormalities
• CT scan or MRI scan help in accurately staging the disease

How is vulvar cancer treated at KHCC?
At KHCC, a team of highly specialized oncologists, surgeons and gynecologists handle the treatment of vulvar cancer patients. The treating physician will present the case to the MDC panel  who will determine the right treatment for the patient depending on how much the cancer has spread throughout the body.

Treatment options will vary depending on the size of the tumor and stage of diagnosis, as well as the age and general health of the patient. Treatments for vulvar cancer include: varying degrees of surgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy and chemotherapy.

At KHCC, vulvar cancer patients receive top quality care from a multidisciplinary team of gynecology oncology specialists that is entirely devoted to diagnosing and treating gynecology cancers.

Supportive Care
The gynecology cancer multidisciplinary clinic works in close cooperation with other departments at KHCC so that vulvar cancer patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. Supportive care services at KHCC include: