Surgical Treatment of Vulvar Cancer Clinical Presentation

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert V Higgins, MD; Chief Editor: Leslie M Randall, MD, MAS, FACS  more...
  • Print


The majority of patients present with a single vulvar lesion. Patients may complain of vulvar pruritus, pain, or irritation, though many patients will be asymptomatic. Patients with advanced disease can present with enlarged inguinal lymph nodes, lower-extremity edema, or rectal bleeding.


Physical Examination

Patients presenting with vulvar complaints should have a complete pelvic examination, including palpation for enlarged inguinal lymph nodes, vaginal speculum examination, and bimanual pelvic examination. Biopsy any abnormal lesions suspicious for cancer. The usual appearance of a vulvar cancer is a raised red lesion, which is firm or friable depending on the size of the lesion.