Vulva Cancer Survival Rates
Life Expectancy Statistics

Vulvar Cancers


How Long Will I Live?Answering: Will I Survive?

Vulva Cancer Survival Rates

Contents

What Are My Chances Of Surviving?
Survival Rates For Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Vulva
Vulva Adenocarcinoma Statistics
Vulvar Melanoma Statistics


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Cancer of the Vulva

What Are My Chances Of Surviving?

This is naturally the first question most women who have received a vulva cancer diagnosis will want answered. The survival rate is the most common way a doctor will discuss your prognosis (outlook). The 5 year survival rate is the percentage of vulva cancer patients who live 5 years after their original diagnosis. Of course many go on to live much longer than those 5 years and may even in fact be cured. The 10 year rate similarly refers to the number of patients alive 10 years after diagnosis. It should be remembered that these figures can only predict the outcome for a large number of women with the disease. It cannot predict what will happen in your individual case as other factors will affect your personal outcome such as your age and general state of health as well as how you respond to certain cancer treatments such as radiation therapy. In fact doctors have a way of grading how they think a woman will react to treatment. It is called 'performance status'. A performance status (PS) of 0 indicates that the patient overall is quite healthy and fit and they will be able to look after themselves after vulva cancer treatment. If cancer is advanced and the patient is elderly or they have another chronic condition such as diabetes they will need more day to day help. Their PS rate will be 2 or 3. PS is often used to determine if a patient can receive chemo and at what dosage. It is also used during cancer clinical trials as a way of assessing quality of life.

Performance Status (using the ECOG Score)

PS 0: Patient shows no symptoms and is fully active.
PS 1: Symptoms have occurred which restrict the patient. Yet they can still carry out office work and light housework.
PS 2: Patient still capable of self-care but needs to spend 50 percent of the waking day in bed.
PS 3: Patient only capable of limited self-care and needs to spend more than 50 percent of the waking day in bed.
PS 4: Bed bound and completely disabled.
PS 5: Death.

Below is list of the 5 and 10 year survival rate for the 3 main types of vulva cancer according to the staging of the disease (see vulva cancer staging). These figures come from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and are based on patients diagnosed between 1998 and 2001.

Survival Rates For Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Vulva

The vast majority of vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. It is also the type to produce the most symptoms such as vulva itching, white bumps, skin changes, painful urination and bleeding. Verrucous carcinoma is a sub-group which often causes cauliflower shaped growths like genital warts. In the early stages it is highly curable.

Stage: 1
Cancer tumor found but limited to the vagina.
5 Year Survival Rate: 93 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 87 percent

Stage: 2
Cancer has spread from the vagina and invaded surrounding tissues.
5 Year Survival Rate: 79 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 69 percent

Stage: 3
Cancer has spread to the pelvic lymph nodes or pubic bone.
5 Year Survival Rate: 53 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 46 percent

Stage: 4
Cancer has metastasized and spread to the pelvis and/or distant organs.
5 Year Survival Rate: 29 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 16 percent

Compare these stats to cervical cancer survival rates, ovarian cancer survival rates and fallopian tube cancer survival rates. See also vaginal cancer survival rates.

Vulva Adenocarcinoma Survival Rates

Adenocarcinoma starts vulvar sweat glands or in the Bartholin glands. It only accounts for a small amount of vulvar cancers. A common sign are cyst-like lumps on the sides of the vaginal opening.

Stage: 1
5 Year Survival Rate: 100 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 89 percent

Stage: 2
5 Year Survival Rate: 92 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 72 percent

Stage: 3
5 Year Survival Rate: 74 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 71 percent

Stage: 4
5 Year Survival Rate: Not available
10 Year Survival Rate: Not available

Vulvar Melanoma Survival Rates

Melanoma accounts for about 2 to 4 percent of vulvar cancers. It is a type of skin cancer and a common sign is a change in a mole or texture or color of the vulva skin. Women who develop melanoma on other parts of their body are at increased risk of vulvar melanoma.

Stage: 1
5 Year Survival Rate: 83 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 71 percent

Stage: 2
5 Year Survival Rate: 64 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 57 percent

Stage: 3
5 Year Survival Rate: 35 percent
10 Year Survival Rate: 21 percent

Stage: 4
5 Year Survival Rate: Not available
10 Year Survival Rate: Not available

Interesting: Read our article on Vulva Cancer Prevention

  Related Articles on Vulvar Cancers

For more facts, see the following:

Symptoms of vulva cancer: Warning signs.
Causes of vulva cancer: Diabetes and hypertension.
Recurrent vulva cancer: Signs and treatment.

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WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT VULVAR CANCERS
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