Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Types of vulvar cancer

Every vulvar cancer patient is different. The cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) have extensive experience in properly staging and diagnosing the disease, and developing a treatment plan that's tailored to your specific type of vulvar cancer.

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There are two main types of vulvar cancer:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of vulvar cancer, accounting for over 80 percent of cases. One particular subtype of squamous cell cancer is called Verrucous carcinoma. This form grows slowly, often looks like a large wart, and is associated with a good prognosis (outlook).
  • Adenocarcinoma accounts for approximately 8 percent of vulvar cancers. These cancers usually begin in the Bartholin glands, which are found just inside the entrance of the vagina and normally produce a mucous-like fluid that acts as a lubricant. Adenocarcinomas can also develop in sweat glands. Another related condition is Paget disease, in which the adenocarcinoma cells are restricted to the top layer of the skin of the vulva. Some patients with this condition may also have an area of invasive adenocarcinoma.

Other types of cancers, such as melanomas, basal cell carcinomas and sarcomas, may also occur in the vulva. These types account for less than 10 percent of all vulvar cancers.

Last Revised: 01/31/2017

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