Vulvar Cancer Causes and Symptoms
Causes and Risk Factors
for Vulvar Cancer
Unfortunately, there are no known specific causes for this cancer, which makes prevention a little bit difficult. Some factors,
however, have been shown to slightly increase the risk of a woman to vulvar cancer. Some of them
• Age - cancer of the vulva is rare and occurs mostly in women over the age
of 60 years.
• Chronic Irritation or Inflammation – Certain chronic irritation of
the vulva, such as lichen
sclerosus can lead to the
occurrence of the malignancy.
• Viral Infection - Infection with certain types of viruses, such as
human papillomavirus (HPV), puts a woman at higher risk to have vulvar cancer.
Warning signs and Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer
The tumor develops from a
group of cells of the vulva which grow abnormally. In healthy women, these cells disappear by themselves
without turning into cancer. When the immune system is unable to fight the disease, these abnormal cells,
however, continue to evolve to become malignant. These abnormalities are called pre-malignant or
precancerous. Symptoms of vulvar cancer emerge when the diseased cells turn from precancerous to cancer.
Vulvar cancer symptoms can be
challenging to recognize by the patient at the beginning. There are several diseases of the vulva which have
similar characteristics. In general, common warning signs and symptoms of vulvar cancer
• burning sensation in
• painful intercourse
• Discoloration on the
• appearance of small sore (ulcer) at the vulva.
• Discharge containing pus (occurring late).
• bleeding (mostly at late stage).
• Pain (during sexual intercourse or not).
Many women experience these symptoms, on occasion, and have no cancer. The disorders just disappear on their own
without any medical treatment. But if these symptoms persist for a few weeks, it is wise for a woman to see a
health professional who can perform or recommend gynecologist exams searching for cancerous or precancerous
Vulvar Cancer Diagnosis and Stages