Donate to Vulvar Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education

Vulvar cancer is a rare disease that begins in the tissues of the vulva. The vulva is located on the outer portion of a women’s genital organs and includes the labia majora, labia minora, vestibule, prepuce, clitoris, fourchette, perineum, and urethra. Vulvar cancer can occur in any of these areas, but most commonly affects the vaginal lips. Most vulvar cancers present themselves as squamous cell carcinomas, a type of skin cancer.  Melanoma, adenocarcinoma, and sarcoma are less common forms of vulvar cancer. When you contribute to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will play an integral role in helping Northwestern Medicine’s multidisciplinary team of experts to diagnose and treat vulvar cancer.

Symptoms of vulvar cancer may be mild or nonexistent in the early stages. As the cancer advances, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Constant itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Changes in vulvar skin color
  • Open sore or wart-like lumps

The cause of vulvar cancer is still unknown, but there are several factors associated with this disease, including:

  • Age: Most women with vulvar cancer are over the age of 65.
  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of vulvar cancer.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV): Women with HPV have an increased risk of vulvar cancer.
  • Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN): This precancerous condition may develop into cancer.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HIV compromises the immune system making it easier to get vulvar cancer.
  • Chronic vulvar conditions: Certain vulvar skin conditions have been associated with vulvar cancer.
  • Genital Cancers: Women with cervical cancer are at risk for vulvar cancer.
  • Melanoma: Women have an increased risk of vulvar cancer if they have moles on other parts of their body.

Vulvar Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Scientists at Northwestern Medicine are continually conducting research to gain a better understanding of the causes of vulvar cancer  Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will ensure that this vital research continues and that we will move closer to a cure for vulvar cancer.

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