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Dr.Niraj Mahajan
Dr.Niraj Mahajan
Dr.Niraj Mahajan


The vulva is the outer skin surface of the female genital organs, that surrounds the urethra and the vagina (including labia and clitoris).

Vulvar cancer is usually in the form of a lump on this region, and is more likely to occur in older women.


  • Persistent itching
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Abnormal bleeding or discharge from the vagina.
  • Thickened and/or darkened skin.
  • Lumps, warts or ulcers.


The causes of vulvar cancer are as yet unknown. However, doctors suspect genetic mutation in the cells to be a major reason behind the cancer.


The types of vulvar cancer are-

  • Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma begins in the thin, flat cells that line the surface of the vulva.
  • Vulvar melanoma begins in the pigment-producing cells found in the skin of the vulva.


Vulvar cancer is diagnosed using the following methods

  • Biopsy of tissue in the vulva.
  • Physical observation for any abnormalities.
  • Examining the pelvic area for spread of the cancer.
  • Imaging tests like Ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, etc.


Treatment of vulvar cancer depends upon the nature of the tumor, the extent of its spread, age of the patient and overall health.Surgical methods include-

  • Cutting off the cancerous growth and a margin of healthy tissue to remove the cancer.
  • Vulvectomy- Partial or complete removal of the vulva, including the clitoris and tissue underneath.
  • Pelvic surgery - If the cancer has spread to the pelvic organs, extensive surgery may be required to remove the cancer.

The vulva can be reconstructed after surgical removal, using skin grafts.

Also, in some cases, surgical removal of the lymph nodes may also be required.

Other methods of treatment include chemotherapy and radiation therapy, in which chemicals and high energy focused radiations are used to destroy a major part of the tumor.

Post Surgery

  • The patient is advised complete rest for sufficient period, accompanied with rehabilitation
  • Cancer can be emotionally disturbing to anyone, and hence, it is important for the woman to have good emotional support after coming through the treatment
  • Extreme physical activities should be avoided till full recovery

"Authored By Dr.Niraj Mahajan"

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Dr. Niraj Mahajan

MD- Gynecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Uro-gynecologist , Infertility specialist & Cosmetic Gynecologist.

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