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Types of Vulvar Cancer

The vulva consists of epithelial cells so most vulvar cancers are skin-related cancers. There are several types of vulvar cancers including:

  • Squamous cell carcinomas. The majority of vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas that typically develop at the edges of the labia majora, labia minora or the vagina. As with vaginal squamous cell carcinomas, vulvar squamous cell cancers are slow growing and usually develop from "precancerous," pre-invasive areas called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN).
  • Melanoma. Melanoma is the second most common type of vulvar cancer and represents 5 to 10 percent of cases of vulvar cancer. Roughly half of all melanoma vulvar cancers involve the labia majora.
  • Adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinomas of the vulva are also rare, but can develop from glands such as the Bartholin's glands at the vaginal opening.