Vulvar cancer is only a threat for women since vulva is the area of skin that surrounds the urethra and vagina. In most cases, this type of cancer appears as a lump or sore on the vulva which results in pain and itching. There is no rule when age is considered but vulvar cancer usually develops in older women. In order to treat this type of cancer, surgery is usually an option. Such a procedure is done in order for the cancer and a margin of healthy tissue to be removed. In certain cases, there is also the need for the removal of the entire vulva. Just like with a cancer type, there is more chance of success if the cancer is diagnosed in the early stages.
There are several symptoms of vulvar cancer which occur in most cases. Persistent itching, pain and tenderness, bleeding that is not from menstruation, skin changes and a visible lump are some of the most common.
In cases when there is abnormal bleeding, burning, itching or pain, women should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
The experts are still not sure what exactly causes vulvar cancer. It is known that cancer develops once a cell develops mutations in its DNA. After the mutation, the cell grows and divides quite fast and these cells then survive when normal cells would die. That is when tumor is created. Tumors can be cancerous and they tend to spread.
Types of vulvar cancer
There are several types of vulvar cancers but two occur more often than others. These two types are vulvar squamous cell carcinoma and vulvar melanoma.
In order to reduce the chance of developing vulvar cancer, women need to lessen the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Some of the most common and dangerous transmitted diseases are HIV and HPV. In order to achieve this, a woman needs to make sure not to have too many sexual partners because a large number increases the risk of HPV. Using a condom in every sexual intercourse is essential since condom is the best protection against HIV. There is also the HPV vaccine and women should consider that option as well. Talking to the doctor about pelvic exams is also helpful. Treatments and drugs
There are several factors which will determine the course of treatment. Type and stage of the cancer, general health and preferences are some of the most important. Surgery is the most common treatment option for women with vulvar cancer. Apart from the surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also available options and so is the process of removal of nearby lymph nodes.