Tests and procedures used to diagnose vulvar cancer is included :
- Examine the vulva. Doctors can do a physical examination of the vulva to look for abnormalities.
- Using a special lens to check the vulva. During colonoscopy, the doctor can use the device to work like a magnifying glass to check for abnormal areas on the vulva.
- Removing tissue samples for testing (biopsy). To decide whether a suspicious area of skin on the vulva is a cancer, your doctor may recommend removing the skin samples for testing. During the biopsy procedure, the area is numbed with local anesthetic and a scalpel cutting tools or other special use to remove all or part of the suspicious area. Depending on how much skin is removed, and may need stitches.
Determine the level of cancer
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors work to find the size and extent (stage) of cancer. Staging tests may include :
- Check the spread of cancer to the pelvic area. The doctor may do a more thorough examination of the pelvis to see signs that the cancer has spread.
- Imaging tests. Chest or abdominal images can show whether cancer has spread to the area. Imaging tests including X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Vulva cancer stage
Vulvar cancer who are given Roman numerals write down the stage. Stages of vulvar cancer include :
- Stage I describes a small tumor confined to the vulva or on the skin area between the vaginal opening and anus (perineum). This cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or other areas of the body.
- Stage II tumors are those that have grown to include nearby structures, such as the lower portions of the urethra, vagina and anus.
- Stage III cancer has spread to lymph nodes.
- Stage IVA signifies a cancer that has spread more extensively to the lymph nodes, or that has spread to the upper portions of the urethra or vagina, or that has spread to the bladder, rectum or pelvic bone.
- Stage IVB is a cancer that has spread (metastasized) to distant parts of your body.
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