Vulval cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of vulval cancer, 2015, UK

Deaths

Deaths from vulval cancer, 2016, UK

Survival

Survive vaginal or vulval cancer for 10 or more years, 2009-2013, England

 

Preventable cases

Vulval cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 1,300 new vulval cancer cases in the UK every year, that's more than 3 every day (2013-2015).
  • In females in the UK, vulval cancer is not among the 20 most common cancers, with around 1,300 new cases in 2015.
  • Vulval cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer cases in females in the UK (2015).
  • Incidence rates for vulval cancer in the UK are highest in females aged 90+ (2013-2015).
  • Since the early 1990s, vulval cancer incidence rates have increased by a sixth (17%) in females in the UK.
  • Over the last decade, vulval cancer incidence rates have increased by around a tenth (11%) in females in the UK.
  • Vulval cancer in England is more common in females living in the most deprived areas.
  • 1 in 275 women will be diagnosed with vulval cancer during their lifetime.
  • An estimated 8,400 women who had previously been diagnosed with vulval cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth vulval cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 440 vulval cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's around 1 every day (2014-2016).
  • In females in the UK, vulval cancer is the 20th most common cause of cancer death, with around 460 deaths in 2016.
  • Vulval cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in females in the UK (2016).
  • Mortality rates for vulval cancer in the UK are highest in females aged 90+ (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1970s, vulval cancer mortality rates have decreased by two-fifths (40%) in females in the UK.
  • Over the last decade, vulval cancer mortality rates have remained stable in females in the UK.
  • Vulval cancer deaths in England are more common in females living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth vulval cancer mortality statistics

  • More than half (53%) of women diagnosed with vaginal or vulval cancer in England survive their disease for ten years or more (2009-13).
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of women diagnosed with vaginal or vulval cancer in England survive their disease for five years or more (2009-2013).
  • More than 8 in 10 (82%) women diagnosed with vaginal or vulval cancer in England survive their disease for one year or more (2009-2013).
  • Vagina and vulva cancer survival in England is highest for women diagnosed aged under 50 years old (2009-2013).
  • More than 8 in 10 women in England diagnosed with vagina or vulva cancer aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with almost 6 in 10 women diagnosed aged 70-89 (2009-2013).
  • Five-year relative survival for vaginal and vulval cancer in women is above the European average in England but similar to the European average in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 69% of vulval cancer cases in the UK are preventable.

See more in-depth vulval cancer risk factors

  • 'Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.
  • Around 7 in 10 vulval cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • 22% of patients diagnosed with vulval cancer have radiotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 7% of patients diagnosed with vulval cancer have chemotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.

See more in-depth vulval cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for vulval cancer in the UK are; incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival (vaginal and vulval combined) 2009-2013.

The ICD code Open a glossary item for vulval cancer is ICD-10 C51.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2010-2012 due to the small number of cases.

Overall, the evidence on vulval cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because of the relative rarity and of this cancer type. Many studies combine vulval and vaginal cancer in order to obtain a larger number of cases for analysis.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Vulval cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.

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