Vulvar cancer is a rare type of cancer. It is a cancer or malignancy that generally affects vulva.
The vulva is the external portion of the female genital organs.
It includes: labia majora, labia minora, vestibule, prepuce¸ clitoris, fourchette, perineum, anus and urethra
The vulvar cancer usually causes half of the percent of all cancers in women, and usually develops slowly over several years.
It is estimated that over one thousand women are affecting with vulvar cancer every year.
The vulvar cancer is divided into several types. It includes: squamous cell carcinoma, vulval melanoma, adenocarcinoma, verrucous carcinoma, sarcomas, Paget’s disease, and basal cell carcinoma.
It has also been found that nearly ninety percent of cancers of the vulvar are squamous cell carcinomas and the second most general type of vulvar cancer is melanoma, usually occurs in the labia minora or clitoris.
Treatment for vulvar cancer depends on your stage of cancer, cancer of the vulvar type, age, overall health and medical condition, tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies and treatment option.
Treatment for vulvar cancer may include: surgery (laser, excision, and vulvectomy), radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Surgery is the most significant treatment option for vulvar cancer. However, it can be used by itself or in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Even the surgery type for treating vulvar cancer depends upon the size and position of the cancer. For performing surgery, only a minimum amount of tissue will be removed that is essential to eliminate the cancer.
Sometimes, the surgery for vulvar cancer will be a very minor where it removes the cancer, in cooperation with a few surrounding normal tissue. On the other hand, unfortunately, the surgery may be major one where it involves removal of the labia and occasionally the clitoris.
Radiotherapy or radiation therapy (RT) is also used to treat this cancer. However, sometimes, it is used in combination with surgery. The radiotherapy will be given to you in order to shrink your cancer before surgery.
Sometimes, it can also be given after surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells, if present. In some cases, radiotherapy will be used instead of surgery.
Often, the radiotherapy will be used along with chemotherapy (chemoradiation) for having more effective results. In cases where the cancer is spread to other parts of your body, then chemotherapy [Chemotherapy Side Effects] will only be used for treating vulvar cancer.
So, consult your health care professional immediately when you find constant itching, unusual bleeding or discharge, severe burning or pain in the vulva, skin of the vulva appears white and rough.
Your health care professional will suggest you the treatment option by considering several factors, such as vulvar cancer type, its size and position, the extent of cancer that spread and your health condition.
Treatment for vulvar cancer and the potential benefits will vary depending upon your situation. In the early-stage vulvar cancer, the treatment is very beneficial where it reduces the risk of vulvar cancer reoccurrence.