Treating women's cancers with expertise and compassion.

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Getting Started

Your treatment begins with your Legacy Cancer Institute doctor recommending a plan based on expert guidelines, called protocols. Your treatment is determined by:

  • The type of tumor
  • The location of the tumor
  • The extent of the disease, called the stage
  • Any tests you have had during diagnosis
  • A discussion about what is right for you

Vulvar cancer treatment options

There are several standard treatments for vulvar cancer.  Like many cancers, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are among them. Many people undergo a combination of treatments.

Surgery is the most common treatment for vulvar cancer. 

    • Local excision removes the cancer and a large amount of normal tissue around it. Nearby lymph nodes in the groin may also be removed.
    • Pelvic exenteration removes the lower colon, rectum, and bladder. The cervix, vagina, ovaries and nearby lymph nodes are also removed. Artificial openings (stoma) are made for urine and stool to flow from the body into a collection bag.
  • Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill cancer cells throughout the body.
  • Radiation uses high-energy X-rays or other radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.

Talk to your doctor about these and other options for treating vulvar cancer. There may also be a clinical trial (research study) for which you are eligible. Researchers are discovering new therapies for treating cancer all the time, giving doctors new resources for your care.

What happens next

Many cancer treatments can cause challenging side effects. Your cancer team is dedicated to helping you manage these issues in the best ways possible.

To see how well your treatment is working, some of the tests used to diagnose and stage your cancer may be repeated. Your doctor uses these tests to decide whether to stop, change or continue treatment based on the results. The tests can also determine if cancer has returned.

Whenever possible, we work to stop cancer. But when we can’t, we can often control it for a better quality of life, often called palliative care.

Working together for you

Our cancer experts work together with a common goal: delivering the right care for you.

A range of specialists collaborate regularly in meetings called tumor boards to discuss the best plan for your care. Your treatment plan is made just for you, depending on your general health, your age, your particular cancer and its growth.

More support 

You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs. 

Nurse navigators
Legacy Cancer Healing Center
Support groups and classes
Cancer rehabilitation
Survivorship services

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized specialists. Give us a call to make an appointment. Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team. 

503-413-8654  (Oregon)  
360-703-9870  (Washington)