At the OSUCCC – James, cancer research experts focus on studying vulvar cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in learning more about what causes vulvar cancer — leading to even more highly targeted prevention, care and treatment.

Screening for Vulvar Cancer

Cancer screening exams can help find vulvar cancer at its earliest stage when the chances for successful treatment, optimal outcomes and fewer side effects are greatest. These tests are usually done when a patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Not only are expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James continually working to detect and diagnose vulvar cancer early, but they are also developing additional tests to detect and diagnose cancer even earlier, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

If vulvar cancer is found at an early stage, the chances for successful treatment and recovery are great. Currently, for women at low risk for the disease, there are no recommended screening tests.

Vulvar Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of developing vulvar cancer. The following factors may play a role in the development of vulvar cancer:

  • Having vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (a precancerous condition in which changes happen in the skin cells covering the vulva)
  • Having human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Having a history of genital warts
  • Having many sexual partners
  • Having first sexual intercourse at a young age
  • Having a history of abnormal Pap tests

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Vaccines may help protect young women and girls as young as 9 years old from some HPV infections. These vaccines are used to prevent cancer that can result from an HPV infection. The vaccine is also recommended for females 13 to 18 years old.

Learn more about HPV and the vaccine from the National Cancer Institute.

Not everyone with risk factors will get vulvar cancer. But having certain risk factors appears to increase your risk of developing the disease. If you are at high risk for vulvar cancer, talk with your doctor about tests to find out if you have early signs of the disease.

If you have received a vulvar cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a vulvar cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210