While vaginal and vulvar cancers are rare, all women are at risk for these cancers. Together, they account for about 6% of all gynecologic cancers diagnosed in the U.S., and 0.7% of all cancers in women. Women have a 1 in 333 chance of developing vulvar cancer at some point.
Vaginal & Vulval Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay
Most cancers that occur in the vulva are squamous cell carcinomas. There are several subtypes of squamous cell carcinomas:
- The most common is the keratinizing type, which usually develops in older women not infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Basaloid and warty types are less common and are more often found in younger women with HPV.
- An uncommon subtype is a Verrucous carcinoma, which typically looks like a large wart. It is slow-growing and tends to have a good prognosis.
Other, less common types of vulvar cancer include:
- Adenocarcinomas: About 8 of every 100 vulvar cancers are adenocarcinomas, which is cancer that starts in gland cells. This cancer is often mistaken for a cyst, so it is somewhat difficult to diagnose.
- Paget disease: A condition in which adenocarcinoma cells are found in the top layer of the vulvar skin. In rare cases, an invasive vulvar adenocarcinoma can spread to glands beneath the top layer of skin.
- Melanomas: Although much more common in sun-exposed areas of the skin, they can start in other areas, such as the vulva.
- Sarcomas: Vulvar sarcomas, which start in the cells of bones, muscles, or connective tissue, can occur in females at any age, but only account for about 2% of vulvar cancers.
- Basal cell carcinoma: The most common type of skin cancer occurs very rarely on the vulva.
Treatment Options for Vaginal and Vulval Cancers in Tampa Bay
Treatment for vaginal and vulvar cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer. Age, general health, individual circumstances, and personal preferences also factor into a treatment plan. Surgery to remove tumors or cysts is typically the main treatment for vaginal and vulvar cancer and is often combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both.
Radiation therapy for vaginal and vulvar cancer may include external beam radiation therapy, 3-dimensional CRT radiation therapy, or intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology is dedicated to providing the best gynecologic cancer treatment options available for women with vaginal or vulvar cancer, and our cancer experts will take the time to review each case, discuss all options, and design a treatment plan that fits the specific needs of each patient. Visit one of our free-standing cancer treatment centers in Tamp or Brandon for a thorough examination, assessment, and recommendation for your vaginal or vulvar cancer.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about vaginal and vulvar cancer and treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.
Risk Factors for Vaginal and Vulval Cancers
While several factors may increase the risk of developing vaginal and vulval cancers, these cancers are still considered very rare.
Risk factors for these cancers include:
- Human papillomavirus infection
- HIV infection
- Pre-cancerous conditions of the vulva
- Having other genital cancers