Vulvar Cancer Causes
Cancer » Vulvar Cancer » Vulvar Cancer Causes
Vulvar cancer causes develop in the tissues of the vulva region. This is the region which includes the external part of the female genitalia which includes the clitoris, the vaginal opening and the labia. This is a cancer which affects the lips of vagina which are located on the edges of the labia. This cancer affects women who are above the age of 55 years; but maximum cases happen in the age between 60 to 75 years. Rarely does it occur amongst women who are below 40years.
Women who observe changes in the vulva region, extensive itching and changes in the color of the skin surrounding that particular region are prone to vulvar cancer. It is always advised that a woman after reaching the mark of 55 years should go in for an annual Pap smear test and annual pelvic exam. These are very important tests because this is the time when the doctor can check for something strange in the body of the woman. Treatments for vulvar cancer can be time-consuming if the malignancy reaches advanced stages.
Out of all the gynecologic cancers this cancer accounts for 10 to 12 percent of victims. This is a rare cancer hence it is not very easy to find out the causes ofvulvar cancer. The first way of knowing this cancer is by doing a pelvic examination or self-vulvar exams.
The most common vulvar cancer causes are: -
- Smoking: - This has been a cause of many problems in a woman and a reason for many cancers. When a woman smokes she inhales a lot of harmful chemicals which are not very easy to digest. This is also a very big cause of vulvar cancer.
- Age of the woman: - The average age of the woman who can get this cancer is 55 to 60 years. It is rare to find this cancer in women below that age.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): - This is a sexually transmitted disease. It occurs in women who have a low immunity system and have had multiple partners. This gives raise to the HPV infection in a woman.
- HPV Infection: - This is an infection which leads to vulvar cancer in younger woman. This cancer is caused by unprotected oral sex or sexual intercourse with multiple partners. The types of HPV infection which are a cause for vulvar cancer are HPV 16, HPV
18 and HPV 31. These are the most high risk strains responsible for causing vulvar cancer. Vulvar cancer early signs detected in HPV-infected victims can be much intense and subtle in comparison to the ones not infected by the virus.
- Cervical Cancers: - Cervical cancer can also be developed when Vulvar cancer advances.
- Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VAIN): - This too is an infection where in abnormal cells are found on the top most layer of the vulvar region. This is more commonly called as dysplasia or VAIN.
- Condition of the Skin in the Vulvar Region: - The skin of the vulva region feels dry when the skin develops vulvar lichen planus and vulvar lichen sclerosus. These are types of infections which may develop before that region suffers from a malignancy. Women with such skin conditions are at higher risk of developing this cancer. Vulvar lichen sclerosus is developed in 5 percent of women who are suffering from vulvar cancer. If this infection on the skin stays on for a very long time or in a consistent manner then the chances of metastasis are very high.
- Paget's Disease of the Vulva: - This is a disease which observes many strange changes in the cells which are present in the vulvar region of the woman. This is a rare disease and it affects women who have gone over the phase of menopause. There is a very large cancer growth observed in some women who have been affected by the Paget's disease of the vulva region. This case occurs in less than 20 percent of the women.
Vulvar cancer causes are very similar to the causes of cervical cancer and hence there is a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of effort is lost in taking precaution for cervical cancer. This cancer is not very common in women but it is always advised to go in for regular check ups if there are any changes or symptoms observed in the vaginal area. This advice is for young girls as well, because this cancer may develop in them if they have a HPV infection.