Banner Health
Making healthcare easier

Vulvar Cancer Treatment and Support

At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, our team of gynecologic cancer experts provide advanced treatment for vulvar cancer with compassion and attention to your needs.

How Is vulvar cancer treated?

Your multidisciplinary cancer care team will talk to you about the various types of treatment options that might be good choices, based on your cancer stage, overall health, age, preferences and other factors. Sometimes, you’ll use a combination of treatments to get the best results.


Surgery to remove the cancer is often part of the treatment for vulvar cancer. Surgeons can also remove:

  • Precancerous areas with laser surgery.
  • The cancer and about a half-inch of skin around it.
  • Some or all of the vulva, called a vulvectomy or radical vulvectomy.
  • Lymph nodes, to check for signs of cancer spread.
  • The vagina, cervix, ovaries, bladder, rectum and lower colon, called a pelvic exenteration. With this type of surgery, you’ll have an opening in your abdomen so you can pass urine and stool.

Topical therapy

To treat precancerous changes, you can apply medications such as fluorouracil and imiquimod to the affected area.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat cancers throughout your body. You can take chemotherapy medication by mouth or injection.

There are many options for chemotherapy medications, and your treatment team will recommend drugs, dosages and schedules that are best for you. They may take into consideration your cancer type, the size of your tumor, your age and weight, and any previous cancer treatments you’ve had.

Radiation therapy

Radiation uses X-rays or particles to stop cancer cells from growing or to kill them. It’s sometimes used with chemotherapy to shrink the cancerous area before surgery. Banner MD Anderson doctors use new radiation therapy techniques to target cancerous cells precisely, minimizing damage to healthy cells.

Clinical trials

You may want to consider participating in a clinical trial as part of your care for vulvar cancer. These trials evaluate whether new treatments are safe, effective and better than current options.

Many of the doctors who treat cancer at Banner MD Anderson are dedicated researchers who have pioneered and actively lead national and international clinical trials. Your doctor can help you find any clinical trials that might be right for you and help you decide whether you would like to proceed.

Treatment decisions

It’s crucial to discuss all treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your treatment team. That way, you can make the decision that best fits your needs. You may feel that you need to make a decision quickly. Still, it’s essential to give yourself time to absorb the information you have learned and ask your multidisciplinary cancer care team at Banner MD Anderson any questions you may have. We are here to treat your cancer and support you through this difficult time.

Support during vaginal cancer treatment

Having cancer can be an uncertain time, and support can help you navigate the difficulties you may face. Banner MD Anderson offers psychological help with cancer from specially trained practitioners, rehabilitation and a supportive survivorship program. Learn more about our comprehensive and supportive cancer care.

Request an appointment