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Vulvar cancer

The information on this page was reviewed and approved by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on July 14, 2021.

Vulvar cancer requires expert care. We’re here to help.

Cancer starts when abnormal cells in the body begin to grow uncontrollably. Cancer of the vulva, also known as vulvar cancer, most often affects the inner edges of the labia majora or the labia minora (inner and outer lips, or skin folds). But tumors may also form in the other areas of the vulva—the clitoris and vaginal opening. Symptoms include bumps, internal itching, pain while urinating and bleeding not associated with menstruation.

The gynecologic oncologists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) have experience and training in diagnosing, staging and treating cancers of the female reproductive system, including vulvar cancer. They will work with other oncologists, specialists and clinicians in developing a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Each patient’s treatment plan also includes supportive care therapies designed to help manage the side effect of cancer and its treatment and support the patient’s quality of life.

What you should know after a vulvar cancer diagnosis

​Treatment options

male doctor in white coat reviewing clipboard of treatment options with female patient

Once your diagnostic tests are complete, your multidisciplinary team of vulvar cancer experts will meet with you to discuss your results, answer your questions and recommend treatment options. Your personalized care plan is based on your unique diagnosis and needs. Your care team will take into account your medical history, personal goals and preferences. Then together, we create a comprehensive treatment plan designed for you.

Common treatments for vulvar cancer include:

Gynecologic oncology
A gynecologic oncologist will lead your care team, helping to formulate a plan that will likely include surgery, chemotherapy and/or therapy with a monoclonal antibody.

Surgical options to treat this type of cancer include pelvic exenteration, local excision or vulvectomy.

Anti-cancer drugs are used to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing tumor cells.

Radiation therapy
Two of the main types of radiation therapy used to treat vulvar cancer are external beam radiation therapy and high-dose rate brachytherapy.

Learn more about treatments for vulvar cancer

​Supportive care

An integrative approach to cancer care treats your vulvar cancer with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and other conventional treatments, while also supporting your strength, stamina and quality of life with supportive care services. The supportive therapies are designed to help manage your quality of life and reduce side effects, while helping you avoid delays or interruptions to your treatment. Depending on your needs, you may choose to include nutrition therapy, pain management, naturopathic support or other supportive therapies in your care plan. Supportive care therapies for vulvar cancer patients may include:


​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.


Behavioral health

​Our behavioral health support program is designed to support you and your caregivers before, during and after cancer treatment.


​Oncology rehabilitation

​Oncology rehabilitation includes a wide range of therapies designed to help you build strength and endurance.

Learn More
Christine Bray

Christine B.

Ovarian Cancer

"Today, with my CTCA care team by my side, I am more hopeful than ever about the road ahead. The genomic testing performed at CTCA assisted my doctors in prescribing the appropriate medication, and I will continue to take it for as long as I can."



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