SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Vulvar Cancer
Mortality and lifetime risk have not been updated to include 2011 data (view details).
Statistics at a GlanceShow More
At a Glance
- Estimated New Cases in 2014 4,850
- Estimated Deaths in 2014 1,030
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.4 per 100,000 women per year. The number of deaths was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2007-2011 cases and 2006-2010 deaths.
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 0.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with vulvar cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2008-2010 data.
Survival StatisticsShow More
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Vulvar Cancer?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Based on data from SEER 18 2004-2010. Gray figures represent those who have died from vulvar cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.
Survival by Stage
Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier vulvar cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For vulvar cancer, 58.9% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized vulvar cancer is 85.7%.
- Localized (59%)
Confined to Primary Site
- Regional (32%)
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
- Distant (5%)
Cancer Has Metastasized
- Unknown (4%)
SEER 18 2004-2010, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000
Number of New Cases and DeathsShow More
How Common Is This Cancer?
Compared to other cancers, vulvar cancer is rare.
|Common Types of Cancer||Estimated New
|2.||Breast Cancer (Female)||232,670||40,000|
|3.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||224,210||159,260|
|4.||Colon and Rectum Cancer||136,830||50,310|
|5.||Melanoma of the Skin||76,100||9,710|
|8.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||63,920||13,860|
Vulvar cancer represents 0.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2014, it is estimated that there will be 4,850 new cases of vulvar cancer and an estimated 1,030 people will die of this disease.
Who Gets This Cancer?
Vulvar cancer is rare. It is more common among women with a medical history of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, or genital warts. The number of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.4 per 100,000 women per year based on 2007-2011 cases.
Vulvar cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 75-84.
SEER 18 2007-2011, All Races, Females
- Sex-Specific CancerAll Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
SEER 18 2007-2011, Age-Adjusted
Who Dies From This Cancer?
For vulvar cancer, death rates increase with age. The number of deaths was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year based on 2006-2010.
The percent of vulvar cancer deaths is highest among women aged 85+.
U.S. 2006-2010, All Races, Females
- Sex-Specific CancerAll Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
Alaska NativeNot Shown, <16 cases
U.S. 2006-2010, Age-Adjusted
Trends in RatesShow More
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.
Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new vulvar cancer cases have been rising on average 0.5% each year over 2002-2011. Death rates have been rising on average 0.5% each year over 2001-2010. 5-year survival trends are shown below the figure.
|5-Year Relative Survival||75.1%||77.1%||70.4%||72.6%||75.9%||82.0%||69.6%||71.1%|
SEER 9 Incidence 1975-2011 & U.S. Mortality 1975-2010, All Races, Females. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
More About This CancerShow More
Cancer and the Vulva
Vulvar cancer forms in a woman's external genitalia. The vulva includes:
- Inner and outer lips of the vagina.
- Clitoris (sensitive tissue between the lips).
- Opening of the vagina and its glands.
- Mons pubis (the rounded area in front of the pubic bones that becomes covered with hair at puberty).
- Perineum (the area between the vulva and the anus)
Vulvar cancer most often affects the outer vaginal lips. Less often, cancer affects the inner vaginal lips, clitoris, or vaginal glands.
Vulvar cancer usually forms slowly over a number of years. Abnormal cells can grow on the surface of the vulvar skin for a long time. This condition is called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). Because it is possible for VIN to become vulvar cancer, it is very important to get treatment.
Here are some resources for learning more about vulvar cancer.
- More about risk factors for vulvar cancer
- More about symptoms and diagnosis of vulvar cancer
- More about treatment options for vulvar cancer
- More about clinical trials
- More about cancer prevention
All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Neyman N, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Cho H, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2011, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2011/, based on November 2013 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2014.
All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.
SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Vulvar Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/vulva.html
This factsheet focuses on population statistics that are based on the US population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.
The statistics presented in this factsheet are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.
Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. This factsheet does not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although it provides links to information in many of these areas.