Several clinical signs may suggest the development of a vulvar cancer. These include:
- A lump or ulceration on the vulva
- Itching or irritation
- Bleeding or discharge
Vaginal cancers are more commonly asymptomatic, and are found on routine gynecologic examinations or may result in an abnormal Pap smear. Advanced, large vaginal cancers may result in bleeding or abnormal discharge.
Factors that are associated with a higher risk of developing vulvar cancer include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and smoking. These factors may also increase the risk of vaginal cancers; chronic irritation from vaginal pessaries or exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero may also increase risk.