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Vulvar cancer is quite uncommon, accounting for just 0.7% of all cancers in women. The American Cancer Society's estimates that about 6000 women will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in 2019, and more than half will develop in women over age 70. Vulvar cancer affects the outer part of the female genitals, the vulva, but it can also spread to the inner part of labia majora or the labia minora. The type of cancer affecting this area — squamous cell carcinoma ( the most common), adenocarcinoma, or melanoma — determines the symptoms a woman will experience.

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1. Persistent Itch

One of the first symptoms of vulvar cancer is an itch in the affected area that does not go away. Some women find the sensation becomes worse at night, interrupting sleep, or that it is worse with movement. This symptom is caused by the tumor growing. A burning sensation may accompany the itchy feeling, and bleeding may occasionally present.

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