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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can vulval conditions turn into cancer?

    I have been told that this is a possibility but would like to know which conditions put me at risk…
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    Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

     Some vulval conditions can turn into cancer. The two main types of vulval cancer are those associated with lichen sclerosis and those related to vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) .

    Lichen sclerosis is a condition which is not well understood, but is believed to be related to an overactive immune system or a genetic predisposition.Women with lichen sclerosis experience severe itching, and can develop further problems resulting from scratching. On appearance, affected skin is often dry and shiny, finely wrinkled and may have white patches. If untreated it can lead to scarring of the vulva, shrunken labia and a small increased risk of developing vulval cancer.

    VIN is a precancerous lesion which results from abnormal cell changes, usually associated with human papilloma virus (HPV), but might also be related to ongoing irritation.  

    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide
    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

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