Note: The information on cancer types on the ACRF website is not designed to provide medical or professional advice and is for information only. If you have any health problems or questions please consult your doctor.
The vulva is the external part of a woman’s sex organs and consists of soft fatty tissue covered with pubic hair called the Mons Pubis, the labia – consisting of the two outer larger lips (the labia majora), two inner smaller and thinner lips (the labia minora), the clitoris and the perineum (the skin between the vulva and anus).
Cancer of the vulva may involve any of these external female sex organs. The most common areas for it to develop are the inner edges of the labia majora and the labia minora.
Less often, vulval cancer may also involve the clitoris or the Bartholin’s glands (small glands, one on each side of the vagina). It can also affect the perineum.
Types of vulval cancer include:
Vulval cancer symptoms can include:
All these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, such as infection but if you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.
The main treatments used for vulval cancer are surgery, radiotherapy and sometimes chemotherapy. A combination of treatments may be suggested depending on the type of cancer, where it is and your general health.
Surgery options include:
Sometimes surgeons use a laser to destroy abnormal cells. A laser is a thin, high powered beam of light that your surgeon can use instead of a surgical blade (scalpel).
1 in 4
women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75
of women aged 50–74 participated in breast screening programs
is the estimated 5-year survival rate for women with cancer
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Cancer in Australia 2017, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
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