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
  • % of All New Cancer Cases0.3%
  • Estimated Deaths in 2014 1,030
  • % of All
    Cancer Deaths
    0.2%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

70.5% 2004-2010

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 survivalExternal Web Site Policy 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.

70.5%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

70.5%

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.

Additional Information

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%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Vulvar Cancer
Percent of Cases by Stage
  • Localized (59%)
    Confined to Primary Site
  • Regional (32%)
    Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
  • Distant (5%)
    Cancer Has Metastasized
  • Unknown (4%)
    Unstaged
59% localized; 32% regional; 5% distant; 4% unknown
5-Year Relative Survival
85.7% localized; 53.9% regional; 15.9% distant; 45.5% unstaged

SEER 18 2004-2010, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

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
Cases 2014
Estimated
Deaths 2014
1. Prostate Cancer 233,000 29,480
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
6. Bladder Cancer 74,690 15,580
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 70,800 18,990
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 63,920 13,860
9. Thyroid Cancer 62,980 1,890
10. Endometrial Cancer 52,630 8,590
- - -
28. Vulvar Cancer 4,850 1,030

Vulvar cancer represents 0.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

0.3%

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.

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.

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Vulvar Cancer
0.2% under 20; 2.1% 20-34; 6.4% 35-44; 15.1% 45-54; 19.7% 55-64; 19.3% 65-74; 22.5% 75-84; 14.6% 85 and older

Vulvar cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 75-84.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

68

SEER 18 2007-2011, All Races, Females

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Vulvar Cancer
MalesFemales
  • Sex-Specific CancerAll RacesFemale 2.4
  • WhiteFemale 2.6
  • BlackFemale 1.7
  • Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 0.9
  • American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Female 2.1
  • HispanicFemale 1.8
  • Non-HispanicFemale 2.5

SEER 18 2007-2011, Age-Adjusted

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.

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Vulvar Cancer
0.0% under 20; 0.5% 20-34; 2.4% 35-44; 7.2% 45-54; 13.0% 55-64; 16.6% 65-74; 29.7% 75-84; 30.6% 85 and older

The percent of vulvar cancer deaths is highest among women aged 85+.

Median Age
At Death

79

U.S. 2006-2010, All Races, Females

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Vulvar Cancer
MalesFemales
  • Sex-Specific CancerAll RacesFemale 0.5
  • WhiteFemale 0.5
  • BlackFemale 0.3
  • Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 0.1
  • American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Not Shown, <16 cases
  • HispanicFemale 0.3
  • Non-HispanicFemale 0.5

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.

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 vulvarExternal Web Site Policy 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.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about vulvar cancer.

References

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.

Suggested Citation

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 ProfilesExternal Web Site Policy.

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.