Vulvar cancer is a relatively uncommon but serious malignancy that originates in the vulva, the external female genitalia. This cancer typically initiates within the vulvar skin's cells and can present in various forms. Early identification and prompt treatment are pivotal for achieving favorable outcomes.
Physical Examination: A comprehensive evaluation of the vulva is carried out by a healthcare professional to spot any visible irregularities like lumps, ulcers, or alterations in skin tone or texture.
Biopsy: In instances where suspicious areas are identified during the examination, a biopsy is conducted. This procedure entails the removal of a small tissue sample from the affected region, which is then analysed in a laboratory to ascertain the presence of cancer.
Imaging: In certain situations, imaging procedures such as CT scans, MRI scans, or positron emission tomography (PET) scans may be performed to gauge the cancer's extent and assess whether it has disseminated to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.
Treatment: The approach to treating vulvar cancer hinges on factors such as the cancer's stage, type, and the patient's overall health. Usual treatment options encompass:
Surgery is typically the primary method for managing vulvar cancer. The extent of surgical intervention can vary, ranging from the removal of a portion of the vulva to more extensive procedures, which may encompass lymph node removal when warranted. Radiation therapy employs high-energy beams to target and eradicate cancer cells. It may be employed before or after surgery or as a primary treatment for advanced cases.
Chemotherapy employs drugs to eliminate cancer cells. It is often administered when cancer has metastasized or in situations where surgery or radiation is insufficient. These innovative treatments aim to harness the body's immune system or target specific molecules involved in cancer growth. They are frequently employed in clinical trials or as part of advanced treatment strategies.