In celebration of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness, which is celebrated every September, let us learn more about vulvar cancer.
You can find the best gynecologist in Brooklyn at Doral Health and Wellness – Women’s Health Center.
Vulvar cancer is a rare type of cancer that develops in the tissues of your vulva. The vulva is part of your female external genitalia, which is the area around the opening of your vagina. Your vulva includes:
· The opening of your vagina
· The labia
· The clitoris
· The mons pubis
· The perineum
Your symptoms may not be noticeable during the early stage of your condition. Over time, you might notice these signs and symptoms, which includes:
· Change of color in the vulvar skin
· Unusual growth that feels rough or thick
· Bumps or lumps that look like a wart
· Open sore that doesn’t heal
· An itching that persists and doesn’t go away
· Pain and soreness
· Unusual vaginal bleeding not related to menstruation
· Pelvic pain when having sex
· Pain when peeing
The following risk factors increase your chance of developing cancers, but they do not directly cause cancer. You could have several risk factors but not develop cancer, or you could have none of the risk factors and still develop cancer. Knowing your risk and talking about them with Doral’s specialist can help you make healthier choices and a more informed lifestyle.
These are the following risk factors in developing vulvar cancer:
· Human papillomavirus, or HPV – this sexually transmitted disease may be the cause of about two-thirds of all vulvar cancer. Getting an HPV vaccine can prevent you from developing certain cancers
· Smoking – as with all cancer types, smoking can increase your risk of developing vulvar cancer too
· Immune system deficiency – if you have a weak immune system, you have a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer. Having a low immune system makes you more vulnerable to any illnesses
· Age – most women diagnosed with vulvar cancer are over 50 years old
· Precancerous conditions and other primary cancer – having precancerous conditions have a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer
· Lichen sclerosis – this condition affects your vulvar skin, which makes it thin and very itchy
There are different types of treatment for vulvar cancer. But your treatment will depend on the stage and type of cancer and your overall health condition. Discuss your condition with us so we can talk about the best treatment plan for you.
· Surgery – this is the most common way of treating vulvar cancer. This procedure aims to remove the cancer cells from your body.
· Radiation therapy – this procedure aims to shrink the size of your tumor so it will be easier to remove during surgery
· Chemotherapy – this is often used alongside radiation therapy as part of your treatment plan
· Biologic therapy – this is a kind of immunotherapy that helps the body defend itself against cancer
There is no clear prevention against vulvar cancer. But there is protective measure that you can take to reduce your risk of developing vulvar cancer, which can include:
· Having the HPV vaccine
· Quit smoking or never start smoking
· Be religious with your cervical smear tests
· Always practice safe sex
The earlier vulvar cancer is detected, the better chance of having a positive outcome. Although there is no screening test that is designed to detect vulvar cancer solely, one of the best ways to reduce your risk is to make sure that you get to your regular gynecological checkups. This helps you be aware of the changes of your body.
To know more about vulvar cancer, please schedule your appointment today at Doral Health and Wellness – Women’s Health Center. We help diagnose and run tests for any gynecological problems. To book an appointment, you can visit us 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY or call us at 347-955-3465. You can also visit our website at http://www.gynecologistbrooklyn.com/