Compared to other types of cancer, vulvar cancer tends to develop fairly slowly. It should be noted, however, that there are several different types of vulvar cancer, and the growth rate of each can vary. For instance, squamous cell carcinomas (the most common type of vulvar cancer, accounting for approximately 90% of cases) tend to grow slowly, while melanomas (a less common type of vulvar cancer, accounting for only 5% of cases) typically grow quickly. Also, as compared to squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas are more likely to spread to other areas of the body (metastasize).
Diagnosing vulvar cancer
If you’re experiencing symptoms of vulvar cancer, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with an experienced physician who can determine whether you have vulvar cancer and, if so, which type you have. Based on that information, the physician will explain how quickly your condition may progress and what your treatment may entail.
When evaluating you for vulvar cancer, your physician will likely start with a physical examination. If the physician suspects vulvar cancer, he or she may use one or more of the following tests to confirm your diagnosis:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
The team to choose for vulvar cancer treatment
You can feel confident turning to the professionals at Moffitt Cancer Center for vulvar cancer diagnosis and treatment. The oncologists in our gynecological clinic are highly specialized and take an individualized approach, always treating vulvar cancer patients as individuals rather than numbers. We perform physical examinations and all diagnostic tests on site, so you won’t have to make an appointment with a third-party provider, travel to another location or wait longer than necessary for your results.