Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Vulvar cancer symptoms

Finding vulvar cancer while it is still at an early stage increases the chance for successful treatment. Regular gynecological exams are important, and you should discuss any changes or unusual symptoms with your doctor.

breast cancer symptoms

Vulvar cancer symptoms

Women with the precancerous condition vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) often do not experience any symptoms. Sometimes they may complain of persistent itching, or they may notice a patch that is thicker and lighter than the surrounding skin. In some cases, the patch may be red or pink, or even darker than the surrounding area.

Women with invasive forms of the disease often experience vulvar cancer symptoms, such as:

  • A red, pink or white bump(s) that has a raw or wart-like surface
  • A white area that feels rough
  • Persistent itching
  • Pain, or a burning feeling while urinating
  • Bleeding and discharge not associated with menstruation
  • An open sore or ulcer that lasts more than a month

Women with the verrucous carcinoma subtype of squamous cell vulvar cancer may notice a cauliflower-like growth similar to a genital wart. Bartholin gland cancer is usually associated with a lump on either side of the opening to the vagina, although this may also be a simple cyst. Women with Paget disease often complain of soreness, and a red, scaly area.

Understanding cancer symptoms

These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer. If you notice any cancer signs or symptoms, it's important to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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