Vulvar cancer is a type of cancer that affects the vulva, the external female genital organs. This kind of cancer is rare, but it can occur at any age. Although the exact cause of vulvar cancer is not known, there are several risk factors that may contribute to its development.
There is no single cause of vulvar cancer, but certain factors can increase the risk of developing the disease. One of the major risk factors for vulvar cancer is age. Women over 50 are at a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer. Other factors that increase the risk of vulvar cancer include smoking, a history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a history of precancerous or cancerous growths in the vulva, and a weakened immune system.
Vulvar cancer can cause a range of symptoms, including itching, burning, and tenderness in the vulva. Other symptoms may include bleeding from the vulva, a lump or sore on the vulva, changes in the color or texture of the skin, and pain during sex. These symptoms can be caused by other conditions as well, so it is important to see a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Diagnosing vulvar cancer usually involves a pelvic exam, biopsy, and imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI. Treatment options for vulvar cancer depend on the stage of the cancer and may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. The goal of treatment is to remove all of the cancer cells and prevent recurrence.
Preventing vulvar cancer involves making healthy lifestyle choices and reducing exposure to risk factors. Women who smoke should quit smoking and those with a history of HPV infection should get regular screenings. It is also important to maintain good hygiene and protect the vulva from injury. HPV vaccination is another important preventive measure.
Although vulvar cancer is a rare type of cancer, it is important to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms associated with the disease. If you experience any unusual symptoms, it is important to talk to your healthcare professional. Early detection and treatment can greatly improve the outcome of vulvar cancer. Making healthy lifestyle choices and taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of developing this disease.