Vaginal or Vulvar Cancer
Vulvar Cancer is a malignant type of growth that affects the vulva, and which comprises roughly 1 in 25 instances of gynaecological cancer. It typically affects older women. Vulvar Cancer is typically caused by a squamous cell carcinoma, which arises from the outer layer of the vulva tissue, usually from the labia. However, there are other types of Vulvar Cancer: basal cell carcinomas and melanomas. Basal cell carcinomas tend to grow quite slowly and tend not to metasasise. However, some types Vulvar Cancer, such as melanoma cancers, tend to spread rapidly and metastasise throughout the body, and present a far greater risk to the cancer patient than Squamous cell cancer types.
Vulvar Cancer typically presents by means of a lump or an ulcer, and may be itchy. It may also bleed or have a discharge. Some Vulvar Cancer sufferers may find that they have difficulty urinating, or that urination is painful. Vulvar Cancer tends to grow in the local area, and may also spread via the lymph system, and may also affect nearby organs such as the rectum, urethra and the vagina. Vulvar Cancer can spread throughout the body via the lymphatic system linked to the vulvar lymph system. Vulvar Cancers vary to look out, but the aggressive melanoma Vulvar Cancer usually exhibits the typical darkness of a melanoma.
Because of its sensitive nature, Vulvar Cancer is often not diagnosed until it has become well established, by which time it may have metastasised to other areas of the body. Treatment for Vulvar Cancer typically involves surgery to remove the area that is affected by the cancer, such as the labia, vulvar tissue, and the nearby lymph nodes in order to prevent spread of the cancer. If the cancer has spread, than more involved surgery may be required in order to excise the affected tissue. In very advanced cases, some patients may undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy, but these courses of treatment tend to be quite unusual in instances of Vulvar Cancer.
The likelihood of survival for Vulvar Cancer is generally quite good, with roughly three quarters of diagnosed women surviving the critical five year stage. However, the prognosis for Vulvar Cancer varies dramatically depending on factors such as the type of cancer, the spread of the cancer, the woman’s age, and her general health. If the lymph nodes have been implicated as part of the Vulvar Cancer, the survival rate at five years drops to less than 20%, indicating a need to diagnose Vulvar Cancer as early as possible.