What are the presenting symptoms of Vulval Cancer / Precancer?
Generally patients notice a lump on the skin surrounding the vaginal area with is elevated may be itchy or bleed. Sometimes these areas present as a difference in skin pigmentation or they may be an area of very white looking skin (so called ‘leukoplakia’). Any concerning area should be reviewed by your doctor.
What is VIN?
VIN stands for Vulval Intraepithelial Neoplasia. It refers to a precancer condition identical to that which affects the cervix (CIN or Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia) and which is also generally caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
How is VIN picked up?
It is generally picked up by colposcopy (a magnified view of the skin) with typically a small skin biopsy performed under local anaesthetic.
What is the treatment VIN?
Early forms of this may be just monitored. Higher-grade lesions may either be excised with a surgical operation or the use of specialised creams.
What is the treatment of Vulval cancer?
It is usually treated primarily with surgery. Some cancers require surgical assessment of the groin lymph nodes. Radiotherapy may be required in some circumstances in combination with surgery.
What other conditions affect the vulva?
Other rashes include Lichen Sclerosis and Pagets Disease both of which usually present with abnormal looking skin and a rash.
What should I look out for?
Any lump or rash or irregular bleeding you notice that does not resolve promptly should be brought to the attention of your GP.
Do not assume all itch is thrush particularly if this persists despite multiple courses of antifungal treatments!
You should of course always ensure your PAP smears are up to date.