Vulvar Cancer

Cancer of the vulva is a rare tumor with the most recent cancer statistics reporting that approximately 5,000 women in the United States are afflicted annually. It forms in a woman’s external genitalia. The vulva includes the inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris, and the opening of the vagina and its glands.

Fortunately, vulvar cancer is highly curable if detected at an early stage; however, treatment can have significant adverse effects on body image, sexual function, as well as bladder and rectal function. Lower extremity lymphedema, a form of chronic swelling which results from the disruption of lymphatic drainage in the groin, is a long-term complication and is, for the most part, irreversible.

Protection from infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), including an HPV vaccination, reduces the risk of vulvar cancer. Examination of the vulva for changes by a woman at home or by her gynecologist during her annual pelvic examination can lead to the detection of pre-invasive disease or early vulvar cancer. Suspicious or unexplained changes on the vulva should be biopsied.

The Foundation offers educational materials that explore this in more depth.

Spotlight

After surviving cancer, women look for a community of support and guidance. In a video produced by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, survivors share how they live and thrive after endometrial cancer. As described by one survivor, “You can get better.”  

Awareness

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.  After creating the month in 1999, the Foundation strives to bring attention about these cancers through public awareness campaigns.

Research

The Foundation is proud to offer various Research Grants and Awards. Click here for more information.

Education

FREE Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Courses throughout the country. For more information, click here.