Vulval cancer is typically recognised by the patient as an area with abnormal skin changes, commonly from the pre-cancerous stages, and often symptomatic (pruritus, pain). By far the most common histological type is squamous cell carcinoma and is divided into two main groups based on its pathological features:
- Lesions associated with HPV infection. This group of women is typically younger and often has history of abnormal cervical cytology and abnormalities
- Lesions on the ground of chronic vulval dermatosis (Lichen Sclerosus & Atrophicus)
For both groups, women with history of cancer and / or precancerous lesions need long-term follow-up (vulvoscopy), by a Gynaecologist with the required expertise, as vulval lesions often recur many years later.
Screening for vulval cancer is not recommended for the asymptomatic population without abnormal history.