Basic information on vaginal and vulvar cancers. Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website. Symptoms of vaginal cancer may include vaginal discharge or bleeding, a change in bathroom habits, or pelvic pain. Vulvar cancer symptoms may include skin changes in the vulva or sores, lumps, or ulcers on the vulva.
Vulvar Cancer. The vulva is the outer part of the female genitals. The vulva includes the opening of the vagina; the clitoris; and the labia majora and labia minora, which are the two sets of skin folds protecting the opening of the vagina. Vulvar cancer most often affects the inner edges of . Vaginal and vulvar cancers occur when cells in the vagina or external genitals (vulva) begin to grow out of control. While these cancers are not common, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the known cause for at least half of the cases each year. HPV is also linked to cervical cancer.
Radiation therapy may be used to manage localized vaginal and vulvar cancers. For most patients, a combination of internal and external radiation techniques may be the most effective. A low-dose, sensitizing chemotherapy may be given to enhance the effects .