PreventionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections
To reduce your risk of vulvar cancer, reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HPV and HIV. To reduce your risk of these diseases:
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk of exposure to HPV.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. A condom can protect you from HIV transmission. Condoms may reduce your risk of contracting HPV but can't fully protect against it.
- Get the HPV vaccine. Girls and young women should consider the HPV vaccine, which protects against the strains of the virus that are thought to cause the most cases of vulvar cancer.
Ask your doctor about pelvic exams
Ask your doctor how often you should undergo pelvic exams. These exams allow your doctor to visually examine your vulva and manually examine your internal reproductive organs to check for abnormalities.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for vulvar cancer and other pelvic cancers in order to determine the most appropriate screening exam schedule for you.
Oct. 07, 2015
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 4, 2015.
- Lentz GM, et al. Neoplastic diseases of the vulva. In: Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 4, 2015.
- Covens A, et al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in vulvar cancer: Systemic review, meta-analysis and guideline recommendations. Gynecologic Oncology. 2015;137:351.
- Genital HPV infection — Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
- Karam A, et al. Vulvar cancer: Staging, treatment and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 4, 2015.
- Surgery for cancer of the vulva. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/vulvarcancer/detailedguide/vulvar-cancer-treating-surgery. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ088. Disorders of the vulva. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. http://www.acog.org/For_Patients. Accessed Sept. 4, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2015.
- Edge SB, et al. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2010:379.