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What are the Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer?

You can have vulvar cancer without having any symptoms, but many women do. These are some common symptoms of vulvar cancer:

  • Vulvar itching that does not improve

  • A change in skin color around the vulva. Your skin may become more red, lighter, or darker in color than the surrounding skin.

  • A change in the feel of your skin around the vulva. Your skin may feel thicker, scalier, rougher, or bumpier than surrounding skin.

  • Wart-like bump or bumps, cauliflower-like growths, or ulcers or sores on the vulva

  • Pain when urinating

  • Burning or bleeding and discharge not related to your menstrual cycle

  • Enlarged glands in your groin

One type of vulvar cancer, called melanoma of the vulva, has different symptoms. These are some of the possible signs of vulvar melanoma:

  • A new mole on the vulva or a change in a mole that has been present for years

  • An abnormal mole. It may be asymmetrical, meaning one half doesn’t match the other. The mole may have an irregular or lacy border, meaning the edges are ragged, or it may also be irregular in color. A mole that is wider than 1/4 inch may be of concern as well

These symptoms may be signs of other problems, including noncancerous changes. See your doctor to know for sure.

Online Medical Reviewer: Akin, Louise, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 6/30/2014
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