Vulvar cancer is a sporadic type of cancer which forms in a woman's external genitals, called the vulva. The cancer habitually grows slowly over several years. Firstly, precancerous cells grow on vulvar skin. This is called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), or dysplasia. Not all VIN cases turn into cancer, but it is best to treat it early. There are different types of vulvar cancer i.e Squamous cell carcinomas, Adenocarcinoma, Melanoma, Sarcoma, Basal cell carcinoma.
Disease Statistics: Vulvar cancer is uncommon in Singapore and to date there have been no local reports on this rare cancer, it accounts for 0.6 percent of all cancers in women, and may form slowly over many years. Nearly 90 percent of vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Melanoma is the second most common type of vulvar cancer, usually found in the labia minora or clitoris.
Treatment: Depending on the nature and stage of the vulvar cancer, a person may need one type of treatment. The 3 main types of treatment used for patients with vulvar cancer are
• Surgery can be Laser surgery, Excision, Vulvectomy
• Radiation therapy
Research: Scientists at National University Cancer Institute, Singapore study the ethical and safety reasons, experimental treatments must be tested in the laboratory before they can be tried in patients. Sentinel lymph node mapping, Ultrasound scan of the groin, HPV tests, HPV vaccines, Anti viral creams and gels for VIN, Photodynamic therapy.