Drinking Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer Risk
Drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of developing vulvar cancer. That's the conclusion of the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Mayo Clinics, and other leading medical organizations.
RiskRisk factors for vulvar cancer include:
- Age. Risk of vulvar cancer increases after age 60.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasa (VIN)
- Genital cancer
- Lichen sclerosus
- Melanoma or dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) on the body
- Family history of melanoma
Symptoms of vulvar cancer include:
- Vulvar pain
- A lump on the vulva
- A sore on the vulva that doesn't heal
- Itching of the vulva that lasts more than four weeks
- Burning sensation in the genital area that does not respond to treatment
- Non-menstrual bleeding from the vulva
- Any change in a mole or birthmark in the vulvar area
Any of these symptoms may or may not indicate vulvar cancer. Therefore, it's best to consult a physician for a diagnosis.
Drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for developing vulvar cancer. On the other hand, the moderate and regular consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstaining from alcohol or drinking abusively.
Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a man consuming four drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks per week. For women, it is consuming three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.
A standard alcoholic drink is:
- A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
- A 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
- A shot (one and one-half ounces) of 80 proof liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, or rum either straight or in a mixed drink.
Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.
There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) confers greater health or longevity benefits than any other.
Note: This website does not make health or medical recommendations regarding drinking alcohol and vulvar cancer and none should be inferred.
Resources on Vulvar Cancer:
- Risk Factors for Vulvar Cancer. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_2x_what_are_the_risk_factors_for_vulvar_cancer_45.asp http://www.oncolink.org21%ss=804&id=9509
- Vulvar Cancer. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/cancer/types/753.html
- Vulvar Cancers - Risk Factors. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vulvar-cancer/DS00768/DSECTION=risk-factors
- Vulvar Cancer Risk Factors. http://www.cancercenter.com/vulvar-cancer/vulvar-cancer-risk-factors.cfm
- Vulvar Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Vulvar+Cancer?sectionTitle=Risk%20Factors%20and%20Prevention
- Vulvar Cancer Risk Factors. http://www.massey.vcu.edu/typesofcancer/?pid=1816
- What is Vulvar Cancer? What Causes Vulvar Cancer? http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173108.php
- Vulvar Cancer - Symptoms. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vulvar-cancer/DS00768/DSECTION=symptoms
- Vulvar Cancer - Signs and Symptoms. http://www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/medical_services/cancer/pelvic/conditions/vulvar/signs.html
Readings on Vulvar Cancer and Drinking Alcohol:
- Hjart̐ưaker, A., etal. Alcohol and gynecological cancers: an overview. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2010, 19(1), 1-10. Found no relationship between drinking alcohol and vulvar cancer.
- Parazzini, F., et al. Selected food intake and risk of vulvar cancer. Cancer, 1995, 76(11), 2291-2296. Found no relationship between drinking alcohol and vulvar cancer.
Readings on Vulvar Cancer:
- Burrows, L., and Heller, D.S. 100 Questions & Answers about Vulvar Cancer and other Diseases of the Vulva and Vagina. Sudbury, MA.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2010.
- Canavan, T.P., and Cohen, D. Vulvar cancer. American Family Physician, 2002, 66(7), 1269-1274.
- Fonseca-Moutinho, J.A. Recurrent vulvar cancer. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2005; 48(4), 879-883.
- Ghurani, G., and Penalver, M. An update on vulvar cancer. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2001, 185(2), 0294-0299.
- Grant, P.T. Vulvar cancer. The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 1995, 35(1), 70.
- Hampl, M., et al. Effect of human papillomavirus on vulvar, vaginal, and anal intraepithelial lesions and vulvar cancer. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2006, 108(6), 1361-1368.
- Hauspy, J., et al. Sentinel lymph node in vulvar cancer. Cancer, 2007, 110(5), 1015-1023.
- Hauspy, J., et al. Reply to "Sentinel lymph node in vulvar cancer." Cancer, 2008, 112( 8, (2008), 1869.
- Homesley, H.D. Management of vulvar cancer. Cancer, 1995, 76(10) Suppl: 2159-70.
- Huang, F. Molecular and Cytogenetic Analysis of Cervical and Vulvar Cancer. M.Phil.thesis. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong, 2002.
- Information from your family doctor - Vulvar cancer. American Family Physician, 2002, 66(7), 1276.
- Korach, D., et al. Vulvar cancer metastatic to breast. Gynecologic Oncology, 2006, 103(3), 1144.
- Kumar, S., et al. A comparison of younger vs older women with vulvar cancer in the United States. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009, 200(5), e52-55.
- Lanneau, G.S., et al. Vulvar cancer in young women: demographic features and outcome evaluation. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009, 200(6), 645e1
- Likes, W.M. Vulvar cancer in the wake of increased incidence. The Nurse Practitioner, 2009, 34(2), 45-50.
- López de la Osa Garcés, L. Aspects and Treatment of Vulvar Cancer.
Basel, New York, S. Karger, 1972.
- Luesley, D. Cancer and Pre-cancer of the Vulva. London : Arnold ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Mahajan, N.N., et al. Sentinel lymph node in vulvar cancer. Cancer, 2008, 112(8), 1869; author reply 1869-1870.
- National Library of Medicine. Vulvar Cancer. National Institutes of Health. Washington, D.C. : U.S. National Library of Medicine : National Institutes of Health.
- Parker, J.N., and Parker, P.M. The Official patient's Sourcebook on Vulvar Cancer. San Diego, CA.: Icon Health Publications, 2002.
- Raitanen, M. Vulvar Cancer and Paclitaxel. M.D. dissertation. Turku : Turun Yliopisto, 2002.
- Saraiya, M., et al. Incidenceof in situ and invasive vulvar cancer in the US, 1998-2003. Cancer, 2008, 113(10) Suppl: 2865-72.
- Scurry, J.P. Does Lichen Sclerosus Cause Vulvar Cancer? M.D. dissertation. Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne, 1999.
- Vulvar cancer. Mayo Clinic Health Letter, 2002, 20(7), 6.
- Weikel, W., et al. Surgical therapy of recurrent vulvar cancer. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2006, 195(5), 1293-1302.
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