Vulvar cancer staging provides a uniform way for health care professionals to describe the location of a cancer, the extent of its spread and whether it is affecting the function of any organs. A cancer’s stage is an important factor that is considered by physicians when determining the most appropriate form of treatment for a patient.
Most physicians determine vulvar cancer staging based on the American Joint Committee on Cancer TMN staging system. This system classifies cancers at the time of diagnosis by evaluating the size of the tumor (T), and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes (N) or metastasized to distant sites in the body (M). Based on the results of various diagnostic tests, a physician will assign a value to each of these three categories, and then assess the information collectively to ascertain the stage.
The vulvar cancer staging system consists of:
- Stage 0 – Precancerous cells are detected on the surface of the vulvar skin only.
- Stage 1 – A cancerous tumor smaller than 2 centimeters is present in the vulva and has not spread.
- Stage 2 – A cancerous tumor that measures more than 2 centimeters is present in the vulva or perineum but has not spread to nearby tissue.
- Stage 3 – Vulvar cancer has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes on one side of the body, with no distant metastasis.
- Stage 4 – Vulvar cancer has spread to lymph nodes on both sides of the body or to distant organs.
At Moffitt Cancer Center’s gynecological clinic, our multispecialty team of vulvar cancer experts considers staging along with many other factors when recommending a patient’s treatment plan. A key advantage to receiving treatment at Moffitt is that as the members of our unique tumor board collectively and continually evaluate a patient’s case, the patient benefits from multiple expert opinions without having to obtain referrals or travel to different facilities.
To schedule an appointment to discuss vulvar cancer staging and treatment with a member of our experienced gynecologic cancer team, call 1-888-663-3488, or use our convenient online new patient registration form.