Vulvar Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2012

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Women with vulvar cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, women with vulvar cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.

  • A lump or growth in or on the vulvar area
  • A patch of skin that is differently textured or colored than the rest of the vulvar area
  • Persistent itching, pain, soreness, or burning in the vulvar area
  • Painful urination
  • Bleeding or discharge that is not menstrual blood
  • An ulcer that persists for more than one month
  • A change in the appearance of an existing mole (specific to vulvar melanoma)
  • Wart-like growths (similar to genital warts)

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.