What are the presenting symptoms of Vulva Precancer? Generally, patients complain of itching or notice a lump on the skin surrounding the vulva. Sometimes these areas present as a difference in skin pigmentation or they may be an area of very white looking skin. Any concerning area should be reviewed by your doctor.
What is VIN?
VIN stands for Vulval Intraepithelial Neoplasia. It refers to a precancer condition identical to that which affects the cervix (CIN or Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia) and which is also generally caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It has now been renamed HSIL vulva (high grade intraepithelial lesion of the vulva).
How is VIN picked up?
It is generally picked up by colposcopy (a magnified view of the skin) with typically a small skin biopsy performed under local anaesthetic.
What is the treatment VIN?
It is usually removed by removing the area of abnormal skin or in some special circumstances laser or the use of specialised creams.
What other conditions affect the vulva?
Lichen Sclerosis, Dermatitis and Pagets Disease can also present with abnormal looking skin and itching or irritation of the vulva.
What should I look out for?
Any lump or rash or change in pigmentation you notice that does not resolve promptly should be brought to the attention of your GP. Persistent itching is also a common symptom.
Do not assume all itch is thrush particularly if this persists despite multiple courses of antifungal treatments!
You should of course always ensure your PAP smears are up to date.