Vulvar cancer is an uncommon type of cancer strain that occurs only in women. There are a few forms of vulvar cancer, many of which exhibit symptoms in the early stages.
Where is Vulvar Cancer located?
The vulva is the opening of the vagina and is composed of four primary parts:
- Vaginal opening
- Labia major (outer lips)
- Labia minor (inner lips)
Vulvar cancer cells typically impact the labia minor but will begin in the tissue of the clitoris on rare occasions.
How Does it Impact your Body?
The abnormal cells associated with vulvar cancer will negatively impact the vagina and since cancer spreads, the cells will naturally move upwards towards other regions In later stages, it can spread into the body’s tissue and harm both nearby and distant organs. For example, this occurrence could lend itself to damaged lymph or cervical cancer.
Are There Different Types of Vulvar Cancer?
Vulvar cancer is an uncommon type of cancer amongst others, but there are four primary strains.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – The vast majority of vulvar cancers begins in the squamous skin cells. There are several squamous cell subtypes, all requiring therapy, including:
- Verrucous carcinoma
- Adenocarcinoma – Approximately 8% of all vulvar cancers begin in the cells of the Bartholin glands. It often looks identical to a cyst.
- Melanoma – Approximately 6% of all vulvar cancers will start in these pigment-producing cells.
- Sarcoma – Less than 2% of all vulvar cancers begin here.
Vaginal Cancer Statistics
Per the American Cancer Society, vulvar cancer is only responsible for .7% of all cancers that women develop. A woman in the U.S. has a 1/333 chance of developing it, which accounts for 6,000 cases per year.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause for vulvar cancer is not known. However, based on clinical trials, we do know certain factors can increase the risk of it developing. They include:
- Age – Most common in women over the age of 70.
- HPV – Human papillomavirus has been shown to have links to vulvar cancer.
- Smoking – Increases risk of developing any cancer, including vulvar.
- HIV – The damage to the immune system increases the likelihood of abnormal cells settling into normal tissue.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Cancer
Unlike many other types of cancer, vulvar cancer will often manifest in noticeable symptoms from the outset. These include:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Abnormal discharge
- Bump or lump on the vulva that looks like a wart
- Different hued part of the vulva
- Open sore
- Thickening of the vulvar skin
The Different Stages of Vaginal Cancer
Practically every cancer is graded on a scale of 0 to 4. The stages for vulvar cancer are:
- Stage 0 – Carcinoma in situ, a small potentially malignant or benign tumor forms. A biopsy will be able to distinguish whether the lump contains cancer cells.
- Stage I – A tumor that is less than 2cm is in the vulva or perineum. It hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or distant regions outside of the vaginal region.
- Stage II – A tumor of any size that grows into the anus or lower third of the urethra. It has yet to spread to the lymph nodes or normal tissue within other parts of the body.
- Stage III – A tumor is in the vulva or perineum (or both). It may grow into the anus, lower vagina, or lower urethra. It has spread to one or two local lymph nodes, but hasn’t reached other parts of the body.
- Stage IV – A tumor is in the vulva or perineum (or both). It may grow into the anus, lower vagina, or lower urethra. It has spread to local lymph nodes and created an ulcer. It may have spread to distant regions as well.
Alternative / Natural Vulvar Cancer Treatment
In the past, cancer was ineffectively treated using drugs and forms of surgical procedure that destroy the immune system. To this day, radiation therapy and chemotherapy serve as the standard treatment methods for treating cancer. Recently, scientists have discovered better, safer therapies that are entirely holistic. At ITC, we treat our patients using an array of natural alternative treatments that boost the immune system, rather than destroy it.
Dr. Bautista meets with patients and creates a bespoke treatment plan. During treatment, this may be adjusted daily to ensure best results and that your body is responding positively to the given therapy plan.
Do you want a natural way to stave off cancer? If so, we’re your solution. Call us today and we’ll be happy to set up a consultation and walk you through our innovative program.
- American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Vulvar Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/vulvar-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
- Medical News Today. Vulvar Cancer: Types, Symptoms, and More. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173108.php
- Medline Plus. Vulvar Cancer. https://medlineplus.gov/vulvarcancer.html
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