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Vulvar Cancer Signs, Symptoms, and Types

Vulvar cancer is uncommon, and signs and symptoms are different for everyone. At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, we’re here to support you at any stage of your health care journey. If you have questions about gynecological symptoms you’re experiencing, a Banner MD Anderson specialist can help.

What are common vulvar cancer symptoms?

One or more of these symptoms could be a sign of vulvar cancer. They may also be caused by other conditions, so talk to your doctor if you notice:

  • Rough or scaly red, pink or white bumps on the skin of the vulva
  • Pain with urination
  • Bleeding and discharge unrelated to a menstrual period
  • Itching, burning or pain in your genitals
  • A mole on your genitals that changes
  • A lump on your vulva
  • A sore on your vulva that doesn’t heal within a month

What are the different vulvar cancer types?

There are several different types of vulvar cancer:

  • Squamous cell is the most common type of vulvar cancer. It looks and feels like a wart and can usually be treated successfully. Verrucous vulvar cancer is a type of squamous cell cancer.
  • Adenocarcinoma is cancer that begins in the glands of the vulva. About 8% of vulvar cancers are this type of cancer. Paget disease of the vulva is a type of adenocarcinoma.
  • Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can develop in the pigmented cells of your vulva that give it its color.
  • Sarcoma starts in the muscles or bones and can be found in children and adults.

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