Vulvar cancer is one of the rarest gynecologic cancers in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that 6,000 women are diagnosed with vulvar cancer yearly. Regardless of its rarity, if it happens to you, you’ve come to the right place.
The vulva, the outside of a woman’s genitalia, includes the outer lip-like structures, the smaller inner labia and the perineum, the space between the vagina and anus, and the anus itself. Vulvar cancer most often affects the labia majora or labia minora.
Squamous cell carcinoma: Eighty percent of vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, usually found on the vaginal lips.
Adenocarcinoma: About eight percent of vulvar cancers are adenocarcinomas usually found on the sides of the vaginal opening.
Other types of vulvar cancer, which account for less than 10 percent of vulvar cancers, include:
- Melanoma: Usually found on light-exposed areas of the body, melanomas of the pigment cells account for six of every 100 vulvar cancers.
- Extra-mammary Paget Disease (EMPD): This type accounts for less than two percent of all vulvar cancers.
- Sarcomas: Less than two of every 100 vulvar cancers are sarcomas. Unlike other cancers of the vulva, vulvar sarcomas can occur in females at any age, including childhood.
- Basal cell carcinomas: Basal cell, the most common type of skin cancer, is often found on sun-exposed areas of the skin, rarely on the vulva.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
More experienced physicians to care for you. Sylvester treats more than 5,000 patients with cancer each year. Your dedicated team of physicians at Sylvester have a huge depth and breadth of experience treating your unique cancer.
Multidisciplinary care teams provide nationally recognized expertise. Your physician experts talk to each other, face-to-face, on a regular basis and plan the right care for you and your specific cancer. And you can expect that caliber of care in years to come. Sylvester also has the only gynecologic oncology fellowship in South Florida training the next generation of doctors.
A dedicated dysplasia clinic. Pre-invasive ano-genital disease (also known as dysplasia) is common and can affect the cervix, vagina, vulva, and anus. If you have dysplasia, when appropriately treated, cancer of these sites may be prevented.
Fertility preservation experts. You don’t have to choose between future fertility and cancer treatment. Specialists at the University of Miami Fertility Center in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology offer fertility counseling for male and female cancer patients to help you explore your options and make decisions regarding fertility preservation before you undergo treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.