Statistics at a Glance
At a Glance
Estimated New Cases in 2020 6,120
% of All New Cancer Cases 0.3%
Estimated Deaths in 2020 1,350
% of All Cancer Deaths 0.2%
|Year||Rate of New Cases — SEER 9||Rate of New Cases — SEER 13||Death Rate — U.S.||5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 9|
|Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend|
New cases come from SEER 13. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality.
All Races, Females. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.
New cases are also referred to as incident cases in other publications. Rates of new cases are also referred to as incidence rates.
Rate of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The rate of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.6 per 100,000 women per year. The death rate was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2013–2017 cases and 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 2015–2017 data.
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 2010–2016. 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, 59.8% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year relative survival for localized vulvar cancer is 85.5%.
|Stage||Percent of Cases||5-Year Relative Survival|
Confined to Primary Site
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
Cancer Has Metastasized
SEER 18 2010–2016, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000
New Cases and Deaths
How Common Is This Cancer?
Compared to other cancers, vulvar cancer is rare.
|Rank||Common Types of Cancer||Estimated New
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||276,480||42,170|
|2.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||228,820||135,720|
|5.||Melanoma of the Skin||100,350||6,850|
|8.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||73,750||14,830|
Vulvar cancer represents 0.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2020, it is estimated that there will be 6,120 new cases of vulvar cancer and an estimated 1,350 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 rate of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.6 per 100,000 women per year based on 2013–2017 cases, age-adjusted.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||1.6|
SEER 21 2013–2017, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of New Cases|
Vulvar cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 65–74.
SEER 21 2013–2017, All Races, Females
Who Dies From This Cancer?
For vulvar cancer, death rates increase with age. The death rate was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year based on 2013–2017, age-adjusted.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||0.4|
U.S. 2013–2017, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of Deaths|
The percent of vulvar cancer deaths is highest among women aged 85+.
U.S. 2013–2017, All Races, Females
Trends in Rates
Changes Over Time
Keeping track 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, age-adjusted rates for new vulvar cancer cases have been rising on average 0.6% each year over the last 10 years. Age-adjusted death rates have been rising on average 1.6% each year over 2008–2017. 5-year relative survival trends are shown below.
More About This Cancer
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 and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2017/, based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.
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 Stat Facts: Vulvar Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/vulva.html
These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. 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 these stat facts 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. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.