Vulvar Cancer

Preventing and treating gynecologic cancer in San Diego

A smiling middle-aged woman in a park represents the full life that can be led after vulvar cancer treatment.

Preventing and treating gynecologic cancer in San Diego

Scripps Cancer Center is a leader in caring for women with vulvar cancer. Experts in detecting precancerous cells, Scripps gynecologists eliminate many vulvar cancers in their earliest stages. Our oncology specialists treat vulvar cancer with advanced therapies designed to eliminate cancer and prevent recurrence, including minimally invasive surgery that uses small incisions, potentially resulting in shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery, and immunotherapy to harness the power of the body’s own immune system.

Our multidisciplinary, collaborative board of cancer specialists reviews every patient’s care plan to ensure you receive the best possible care from diagnosis to recovery.

About vulvar cancer

Vulvar cancer is a rare form of gynecologic cancer that affects the vulva, which is the outer part of a woman’s genitals. Other gynecological cancers include cervical, endometrial (uterine), ovarian and vaginal cancers.

The vulva includes the opening of the vagina, the labia majora (outer lips), the labia minora (inner lips) and the clitoris. Vulvar cancer most often affects the inner edges of the labia minora or labia majora. The disease tends to develop slowly over several years, and may start as precancerous changes that can be treated before they become cancer. Screening exams can help identify vulvar cancer early.

According to the American Cancer Society, vulvar cancer makes up fewer than 1% of cancers in women overall and about 4% of gynecologic cancers. In the United States, women have a 1 in 333 chance of developing vulvar cancer during their lifetime.

Vulvar cancer symptoms, diagnosis and stages

Most women have no vulvar cancer symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If symptoms do occur, they tend to vary. The precancerous changes called VIN usually cause no symptoms.

As with most cancers, the earlier vulvar cancer is found, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment. Learn more about symptoms, imaging and diagnostic testing, and the stages of vulvar cancer below.

Treatment and clinical trials

If you’re facing a vulvar cancer diagnosis, you want a team of expert cancer specialists on your side. Scripps' multidisciplinary teams fight vulvar cancer using the latest evidence-based treatments and therapies, including minimally invasive surgery and targeted radiation therapy.

Vulvar cancer treatment locations

Scripps diagnoses and treats vulvar cancer at numerous locations throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista and La Jolla to Encinitas and beyond, our extensive network of Southern California cancer care centers includes:

  • Four Scripps hospitals on five campuses
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Specialty cancer treatment centers

Visit cancer care locations for details of each cancer hospital, clinic and specialty center.

Support groups, services and resources

Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup of support groups, support services and resources to help you along every step of your cancer journey.