Vulvar cancer is a malignant, invasive growth in the vulva, or the outer portion of the female genitals. The disease accounts for only 0.6% of cancer diagnoses but 5% of gynecologic cancers in the United States. The labia majora are the most common sites involved representing about 50% of all cases, followed by the labia minora. The clitoris and Bartholin glands may rarely be involved. Vulvar cancer is separate from vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), a superficial lesion of the epithelium that has not invaded the basement membrane—or a pre-cancer. VIN may progress to carcinoma-in-situ and, eventually, squamous cell cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014, there were about 4,850 new cases of vulvar cancer and 1,030 deaths from the disease. In the United States, the estimated number of vulvar cancer for the United States for 2018 is 6,190 cases with 1,200 deaths. The five-year survival rates for vulvar cancer is around 70%.