Similar in Appearance to Melanomas

Usually diagnosed in older women, vulvar cancer has been detected in women in their 30s and 40s as well. There are about 4,000 new cases of vulvar cancer each year in the United States.

More than 95% of vulvar cancers arise from the squamous epithelium with the remainder mostly melanomas. The cause of squamous cancer of the vulva is unknown but there is a weak association with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Vulvar melanoma is no different from melanomas that occur elsewhere on the body. They are characteristically black in color, but there are amelanotic melanomas that have no color. These can be confused with the usual squamous cell cancer.

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