What increases my risk for vulvar cancer?

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About half of all women diagnosed for vulvar cancer are over the age of 70. While you cannot control your age, you can avoid some risk factors such as smoking and practicing unsafe sex, which can expose you to HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus linked to vulvar cancer. Having HIV, which weakens your immune system, and a history of melanoma (skin cancer) are other factors that increase your chance of getting this disease.

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Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar cancer develops when abnormal cells grow on the surface of a womans external genitalia.Developing slowly over years, cancer of the vulva affects the inner and outer vaginal lips called the labia minora and labia majora, the ...

opening to the vagina called the vestibule and the clitoris. See your doctor if you notice an itchy or painful lump or sore on your genitalia. Like other gynecologic cancers, the human papillomavirus (HPV) puts you at higher risk of developing this disease. You also have increased risk if youre over the age of 50, have been infected with HIV or have been diagnosed with cervical cancer. A pelvic exam can detect vulvar cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are commonly used to treat this cancer. Aggressive treatments may require removal of part or the entire vulva.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.