Vulvar cancer

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Finding vulvar cancer early

When vulvar cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Get regular health checkups and see your doctor if you have these changes to your vulva:

  • itching
  • pain, tenderness or discomfort
  • changes to the skin
  • a lump or mass

Some women have a higher than average risk of developing vulvar cancer. You may be at a higher risk if you have a:

  • weakened immune system
  • personal history of vulvar skin conditions such as lichen sclerosis
  • personal history of precancerous conditions of the vulva, vagina or cervix
  • personal history of cancer of the vulva, vagina or cervix

Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need a personal plan for testing. This may include:

  • regular Pap tests to check the cervix, vagina and vulva
  • more frequent pelvic exams
  • colposcopy

Find out more about these tests and procedures.

colposcopy

A procedure that uses a colposcope (a lighted magnifying instrument) to examine the vulva, vagina and cervix.

Cells or tissue may be removed for examination under a microscope.

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more