Vulval cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of vulval cancer, 2011, UK

Deaths

Deaths from vulval cancer, 2012, UK

Prevention

Preventable cases of vulval cancer, UK

  • In 2011, around 1,200 women were diagnosed with vulval cancer, that is more than 3 everyday.
  • Vulval cancer accounts for around 6% of all gynaecological cancers diagnosed in the UK.
  • Incidence of vulval cancer increases with age, with rates increasing sharply from age 65-69.

Read more in-depth vulval cancer incidence statistics

  • In 2012 around 400 women died from vulval cancer, that is around 1 every day.
  • Vulval cancer mortality is declining. Rates have decreased by more than 40% since the early 1970s.
  • Vulval cancer is more common in older women – more than a third of vulval cancer deaths are in women aged 85 and over.

Read more in-depth vulval cancer mortality statistics

  • 40% of vulval cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A woman’s risk of developing vulval cancer depends on many factors, including age,genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Evidence on vulval cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because this cancer is relatively rare.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for vulval cancer, linked to an estimated 40% of vulval cancer cases in the UK. Some other factors may relate to vulval cancer risk partly because they are related to HPV.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and problems with the immune system may relate to higher vulval cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth vulval cancer risk factors

The latest statistics available for vulval cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012. Reliable survival data for the UK is currently not available. 

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

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 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.

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