Alcohol and vulvar cancer risk. Are they connected? In a word, no. Drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of developing vulvar cancer. That’s the conclusion of the American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Mayo Clinics, and other medical groups.
I. Vulvar Cancer
Risk factors for vulvar cancer include these.
- Age. Risk of vulvar cancer increases after age 60.
- HIV infection.
- Genital cancer.
- HPV infection.
- Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasa (VIN)
- Lichen sclerosus.
- Melanoma or atypical moles on the body.
- Family history of melanoma.
Symptoms of vulvar cancer include any of these.
- Vulvar pain.
- A lump on the vulva.
- Itching of the vulva that lasts more than four weeks.
- A sore on the vulva that doesn’t heal.
- Burning sensation in the genital area that doesn’t respond to treatment.
- Non-menstrual bleeding.
- Any change in a mole or birthmark in the vulvar area.
Any of these symptoms may or may not indicate vulvar cancer. So it’s best to see a doctor.
Moderate Drinking Beneficial
On the other hand, the moderate drinking promotes better health and long life. That’s compared to either abstaining from alcohol or drinking heavily.
A federal agency (NIAAA) has described drinking in moderation. For women, it’s having more than one drink per day.
Standard drinks have equal amounts of pure alcohol. It’s six-tenths of an ounce.
Beer, wine, and spirits (liquor) have equal benefit for health and long life.
II. Resources: Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer
These books are for patients, loved ones, and caregivers.
- Burrows, L. and Heller, D. 100 Questions & Answers about Vulvar Cancer.
- Parker, P. and Parker, J. The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Vulvar Cancer.
- CDC. Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers.
- ____. Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts about Gynecologic Cancer.
- Elit, L. Women and Cancer.
- Smith, J. and Del Priore, G. Women’s Cancers. Pathways to Healing. A Patient’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer.
- Medical Tests Sourcebook. Basic Consumer Health Facts.
- Bellinir, K. Cancer Sourcebook for Women.
- Turkington, C. and Edelson, M. The Book of Women’s Reproductive Cancer.
- Hartman, L. and Loprinzi, C. Mayo Clinic Guide to Women’s Cancers.
- This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor with questions.