Vulvar Cancer in Houston, TX
The vulva is an area of a woman’s genital area that includes the anatomical structures around the vagina and urethra. Women can develop cancer in this area. For women in Houston and surrounding areas of Texas, including Cypress, Sugarland, and Katy, board-certified (gynecological) surgeon Dr. Farhina Imtiaz of North Cypress Women’s Center offers diagnosis and treatment services for vulvar cancer.
What is Vulvar Cancer?
Vulvar cancer develops in the genital area of a woman, specifically in the tissue that surrounds the vagina and urethra, including the labia minora, labia majora, and clitoris. The cancer presents as a lump or sore that is irritated, or sometimes as a recurrent rash. Many women report that vulvar cancer growths are accompanied by severe itching. Women of any age can develop vulvar cancer.
Vulvar Cancer Treatment Benefits
Like other types of cancer, treatment for vulvar cancer protects healthy tissues that may be affected by the growth of the cancer. The goal of treatment is to remove the cancerous tissue and a small margin of healthy tissue. This approach reduces the likelihood of a recurrence of vulvar cancer and other cancers that affect a woman’s reproductive system and other organs.
What Causes Vulvar Cancer?
As a type of cancer, the cause of vulvar cancer has not been identified by researchers. Some risk factors have been linked to vulvar cancer, such as:
- Exposure to or infection with HPV (human papillomavirus)
- History of precancerous conditions that affect the vulva
- Vulvar skin conditions
How is Vulvar Cancer Treated?
Vulvar cancer is primarily treated with surgery, such as:
- Removing affected tissue of the vulva which may require removing only part of the vulva or the entire vulva
- Excising the cancerous tissue, plus a margin of healthy tissue
- Advanced surgery if surrounding organs are affected by the cancer
- Surgical removal of lymph nodes
Dr. Imtiaz may recommend referral to a specialist, or treatments with radiation and chemotherapy after the surgery.
Vulvar Cancer Treatment Preparation
As part of the diagnostic process, Dr. Imtiaz will categorize the type of vulvar cancer to guide her treatment recommendations. Vulvar cancer is categorized as:
- Vulvar melanoma, a type of skin cancer that affects the cells of the vulva that produce pigment
- Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of vulvar cancer
Vulvar Cancer Treatment Recovery
Dr. Imtiaz will recommend follow-up appointments and tests to ensure that the vulvar cancer does not return. Because vulvar cancer surgery removes tissue from the genital area, she may discuss the option of vaginal reconstruction that can be performed in conjunction with the surgery to remove the cancer. Vaginal reconstruction can also be after you are healed from your vulvar cancer surgery.
How Much Does Vulvar Cancer Treatment Cost in Houston?
Treatment for vulvar cancer is covered by medical insurance, so you will only need to pay a portion of the cost. Your insurance carrier determines your out-of-pocket expenses. You can pay your portion by cash, major credit card and CareCredit® financing.
Is Vulvar Cancer Treatment Right for Me?
Vulvar cancer is a serious medical condition for women that can lead to complications without treatment. When you are facing the possibility of a vulvar cancer diagnosis, you want to feel confident in your physician and surgeon. Dr. Imtiaz specializes in vulvar cancer treatments and other healthcare services for women.
Vulvar Cancer Consultation
If you find an unusual lump or sore in your genital area, contact North Cypress Women’s Center for a consultation. Dr. Imtiaz will perform an examination and provide an accurate diagnosis. If you have vulvar cancer, she will recommend safe and effective treatments.
The genital area of a woman is susceptible to vulvar cancer. Like other types of cancer, vulvar cancer should be treated safely and effectively to ensure a woman’s quality of life. At North Cypress Women’s Center, board-certified (gynecological) surgeon Dr. Farhina Imtiaz offers diagnosis and treatment services for vulvar cancer to help women in Houston and surrounding areas of Texas, including Cypress, Sugarland, and Katy.