Investing in Vulval Cancer Research

Vulval cancer is a relatively rare cancer with around 1,300 cases diagnosed in the UK each year.

Surgery to remove the cancer is the standard course of treatment which can have a devastating impact on a women’s quality of life. As well as affecting her body image and sex life, it can cause swelling of the legs that greatly affects mobility.

Surgery can range from a small excision to a full vulvectomy – removing a woman’s vulva, her inner and outer labia, and possibly her clitoris.

A new fund for prevention

To save women’s lives and avoid very invasive and life-changing treatment, we need to invest in prevention. We know that avoiding certain risk factors and having pre-cancerous conditions treated early can reduce a woman’s chance of developing vulval cancer.

But with very little vulval cancer prevention research happening in the UK, we have now set up a new research fund.

We’re aiming to raise £30,000. Once we’ve reached that target we’ll ask UK medical researchers to submit proposals for innovative research – increasing the chances of new breakthroughs in preventing vulval cancer.

A personal perspective

Tracy was diagnosed with vulval cancer and wants more research and awareness into this devastating disease.

“The first time I heard about vulval cancer was when I was diagnosed with it. I had only one symptom; a small skin tag on my perineum. It didn’t itch or get sore but it did get a little harder and at that point I decided to get it checked out thinking I would just need it cut away. I thought I would just have to plead with a doctor to remove it for my own vain sake.

It was only small, so even the consultant thought it would be just a case of removing it, testing a few lymph nodes and job done. Unfortunately the nodes tested contained cancer cells which were aggressively spreading. This was a surprise to all of us and led to having my lymph nodes removed and radiotherapy as well.

I feel that there needs to be more research into vulval cancer it has always been found in older women but I know several younger women who have been diagnosed. I believe that more research is needed. Whilst it is a rare cancer it needs to be diagnosed earlier.

I also feel that more research would also raise awareness of the symptoms and make it more at the forefront of women’s minds. We need to check, and get checked, anything that seems out of place because the earlier you can get this diagnosed as with all cancers the better the prognosis.”

Please donate to help us reach our £30,000 target to invest in vulval cancer prevention research.

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Eve

If you have any gynae concerns, our specialist nurse information service, Ask Eve, is here to help.

You can call our free phone number 0800 802 0019 or email nurse@eveappeal.org.uk