There are no vulvar cancer screening methods available that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Cancer screening tests are generally performed on a routine basis to detect cancer in patients who are not experiencing any symptoms. Currently, no screening test has proven reliable enough to use in this manner for the early detection of vulvar cancer.
In the absence of an effective and widely used vulvar cancer screening method, some of the best ways for a woman to detect vulvar cancer are to:
- Perform regular self-examinations – Using a mirror, a woman can examine the skin of her vulva for growths, nodules, bumps and sores, as well as any areas that appear to be irritated, red, white or darkly pigmented.
- Become familiar with her body and what is normal for her – Upon noticing any changes in her vulva, including itching and rashes, a woman should promptly consult with a health care provider to obtain a proper diagnosis.
- Have a yearly woman’s wellness examination – During a regular check-up, a physician can perform a pelvic examination to check the vulvar area for visible abnormalities (neither a Pap test nor an HPV test can detect vulvar cancer).
Women who have general questions about vulvar cancer screening or specific concerns about possible symptoms are welcome to consult with the gynecologic cancer experts at Moffitt Cancer Center, and no referrals are necessary to do so. At Moffitt, we take a unique, multispecialty approach to cancer treatment, affording each patient the benefit of multiple expert opinions. As a high-volume cancer center, we treat more patients with gynecologic malignancies than any other hospital in the state of Florida, and all of our services are available in a single, convenient location.