Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Treatment for vulvar cancer

Specific treatment for vulvar cancer will be determined by your physician(s) based on:

  • Your overall health and medical history.
  • Extent of the disease. 
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies. 
  • Expectations for the course of the disease. 
  • Your opinion, preference or goals.

Treatment may include:

  • Surgery may include:
    • Excision – the cancer cells and a margin of normal appearing skin around the cancer is removed.
    • Vulvectomy – surgical removal of part or all of the tissues of the vulva.
    • Removal of lymph nodes – from the groin region. 
    • External radiation (external beam therapy) – a treatment that precisely sends energy beams to the region of the body affected by the cancer. Radiation treatments are painless and usually last a few minutes. 
    • Chemotherapy – the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. The gynecological oncologist will recommend a treatment plan for each individual.