Key concepts in management of vulvar cancer

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Female; Humans; Papillomaviridae; Papillomavirus Infections; Risk Factors; Vulvar Neoplasms


Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Neoplasms | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Oncology | Women's Health


Vulvar carcinoma is an uncommon tumor that is seen most often in older women. Subtle symptoms such as pruritus should prompt examination and targeted biopsy in all women as this disease can be successfully treated even in elderly, frail individuals. Vulvar cancer has a bimodal age distribution and is seen in both young and older women with risk factors including human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking, and vulvar skin diseases (i.e., lichen sclerosus). This cancer is staged surgically, with an update in 2009 incorporating prognostic factors. The treatment of vulvar carcinoma has evolved to include more conservative surgical techniques that provide improved cure rates with emphasis on minimizing morbidity. Advanced and metastatic lesions are now treated with chemoradiation which produces substantial cure rates with decreased morbidity. Promising areas of research in vulvar cancer include refinement of sentinel lymph node biopsy, prevention of lymphedema, and preservation of sexual function following treatment.


HPV infection, chemoradiation, sentinel node, vulvar carcinoma, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia

DOI of Published Version



Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Oct;28(7):959-66. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Best practice and research. Clinical obstetrics and gynaecology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID