What is vulval cancer?

Vulval cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the tissues of the vulva grow in an uncontrolled way. It can also be called cancer of the vulva, vulva cancer or vulvar cancer.
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The vulva is the external part of a woman’s sex organs.

It consists of soft fatty tissue covered with pubic hair called the Mons Pubis (Mount of Venus), which is above the labia. The labia have two outer larger lips (the labia majora), which surround two inner smaller and thinner lips (the labia minora).

At the top, where the labia minora join, is a highly sensitive organ called the clitoris. When stimulated, the clitoris fills with blood and enlarges in size. Stimulation of the clitoris can result in sexual excitement and orgasm, or climax.

Just below the clitoris is the opening through which women pass urine (the urethra), and below this is the vagina, a tubular passage through which menstrual blood flows, sexual intercourse occurs and a baby is born.

The area of the skin between the vulva and anus is called the perineum. All these structures are visible from outside the body.

Cancer of the vulva may involve any of the external female sex organs. The most common areas for it to develop are the inner edges of the labia majora and the labia minora.

Less often, vulval cancer may also involve the clitoris or the Bartholin’s glands (small glands, one on each side of the vagina). It can also affect the perineum. Hide