What is Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Vulva?Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the vulva is an extremely rare type of vulvar cancer, characterised by slow growth and a high tendency for recurrence. This type of cancer generally affects the salivary glands but can occasionally be found in the vulva.
SymptomsSymptoms of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the vulva may include:
- A lump, sore, or swelling on the vulva
- Persistent itching in the vulvar area
- Pain or discomfort in the vulvar region
- Bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation
- Changes in the colour or skin of the vulva
Disease Aetiology (Causes)The precise cause of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the vulva is unknown. However, risk factors for vulvar cancer in general can include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking, and certain skin conditions affecting the vulva.
DiagnosisDiagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the vulva typically involves:
- Detailed medical history and physical examination
- Biopsy of the suspicious area
- Imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to determine the extent of the cancer
- Additional tests such as chest X-rays to check for spread to other organs
TreatmentThe treatment for adenoid cystic carcinoma of the vulva often includes:
- Surgery: This is usually the first-line treatment and involves the removal of the tumour and some surrounding tissue.
- Radiation therapy: This may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells or as a primary treatment if surgery is not an option.
- Chemotherapy: Given the aggressive nature of adenoid cystic carcinoma, chemotherapy may be used, especially if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.