Vulval cancer risk

Preventable cases

Vulval cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

Caused by infections

Vulval cancer cases caused by infections, UK, 2015

The estimated lifetime risk of being diagnosed with vulval cancer is 1 in 232 (less than 1%) for females born after 1960 in the UK.[1]

These figures take account of the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of vulval cancer in their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on cancer incidence and mortality data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, October 2016 to October 2017, and ONS 2016-based Life expectancies and population projections. Accessed December 2017.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5. 

About this data

Data is for UK, cancer incidence and mortality rates for 2015, and past and projected all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961, ICD-10 C51.

The calculations used cancer incidence and mortality rates for 2015, and past and projected all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961 to project risk over the lifetime of those born in 1961 (mixed period-cohort method).[1] Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

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69% of vulval cancer cases in the UK are preventable.[1]

Vulval cancer risk is associated with a number of risk factors.[2,3]

Vulval Cancer Risk Factors

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16
 
'Limited' or 'probable' evidence
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1
  • HPV types 18, 33
 

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classification does not include vulval cancer because it is not generally recognised to have a relationship to food, nutrition, and physical activity.

References

  1. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122*. Accessed October 2018.
  3. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2018.
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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1]

69% of vulval cancer cases in the UK are caused by HPV infection.[2]

5% of vulval cancer cases in Europe are HPV-positive, a meta-analysis showed.[3] 81% of vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) cases in Europe are HPV-positive.[2] HPV type 16 is the most common type in vulval cancer cases worldwide (32%), followed by HPV types 33 (5%) and 18 (4%).[3] Vulval cancer cases are more likely to be HPV-positive in younger women.[3]

Vulval cancer risk is higher in women with genital warts, versus women without, a cohort study showed.[4] This is probably due to co-infection with high-risk HPV types (genital warts are caused by low-risk HPV types).[4]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1]

Vulval/vaginal cancer risk is 6.5 times higher in people with HIV/AIDS compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[2] This is probably due to co-infection with, and reduced capacity to clear, Human papillomavirus (HPV).[2,3]

Vulval/vaginal cancer risk among people with HIV does not vary by level of immunosuppression, a cohort study showed.[4] Vulval/vaginal cancer risk among people with HIV has increased over time (probably related to changing HPV prevalence), a cohort study showed.[5]

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans. Volumes 1 to 122* Accessed October 2018.
  2. Grulich AE, van Leeuwen MT, Falster MO, et al. Incidence of cancers in people with HIV/AIDS compared with immunosuppressed transplant recipients: a meta-analysis. Lancet 2007;370(9581):59-67.
  3. Shiels MS, Pfeiffer RM, Gail MH, et al. Cancer burden in the HIV-infected population in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011;103(9):753-62.
  4. Chaturvedi AK, Madeleine MM, Biggar RJ, et al. Risk of human papillomavirus-associated cancers among persons with AIDS. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009;101(16):1120-30.
  5. Shiels MS, Pfeiffer RM, Gail MH, et al. Cancer burden in the HIV-infected population in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011;103(9):753-62.
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