Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer Risk (Important Information)

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

Risk factors for vulvar cancer include these.

    • Age. Risk of vulvar cancer increases after age 60.
    • Smoking
    • 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 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. So it’s best to see a doctor.

Moderate Drinking Beneficial

alcohol and vulvar cancerDrinking alcohol is not a risk factor for forming vulvar cancer.

On the other hand, the moderate drinking promotes better health and long life. That’s in comparison with either abstaining from alcohol or drinking abusively.

A federal agency (NIAAA)  has described drinking in moderation. For women, it’s having three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.

Standard Drinks

A standard alcoholic drink is any of these.

    • 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer.
    • 5-ounce glass of dinner wine.
    • Shot (one and one-half ounces) of liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, rum, etc.

Standard drinks have equal amounts of pure alcohol. It’s six-tenths of an ounce.

Beer, wine, and spirits have equal benefit for health and long life.

II. Resources: Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer

Web Pages

Popular Books

These books are for patients, loved ones, and caregivers.

Readings on Alcohol and Vulvar Cancer

    • Hjart̐ưaker, A., et al. Alcohol and gynecological cancers: an overview. Eur J Cancer Prev, 2010, 19(1), 1-10.
    • Parazzini, F., et al. Selected food intake and risk of vulvar cancer. Cancer, 1995, 76(11), 2291-6.

Medical Articles

    • Canavan, T., and Cohen, D. Vulvar cancer. Am Fam Phys, 2012, 66(7), 1269-1274.
    • Fonseca, J. Recurrent vulvar cancer. Clin Obstet Gyn, 2015; 48(4), 879-883.
    • Ghurani, G., and Penalver, M. An update on vulvar cancer. Am J Obstet Gyn, 2001, 185(2), 0294-0299.
    • Hampl, M., et al. Effect of human papillomavirus on vulvar cancer. Obstet Gyn, 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), 1,869.
    • Information from your family doctor – Vulvar cancer. Am Fam Phy, 2012, 66(7), 1276.
    • Korach, D., et al. Vulvar cancer metastatic to breast. Gyn Onc, 2006, 103(3), 1144.
    • Kumar, S., et al. A comparison of younger vs older women with vulvar cancer. Am J Obstet Gyn, 2009, 200(5), e52-55.
    • Lanneau, G., et al. Vulvar cancer in young women. Am J Obstet Gyn, 2009, 200(6), 645e1
    • Likes, W. Vulvar cancer in the wake of increased incidence. Nurse Prac, 2009, 34(2), 45-50.
    • Mahajan, N., et al. Sentinel lymph node in vulvar cancer. Cancer, 2008, 112(8), 1,869
    • Nat Libr Med. Vulvar Cancer. NIH. Washington: The Library.
    • Saraiya, M., et al. Incidenceof in situ and invasive vulvar cancer. Cancer, 2018, 113(10), 2865-72.
    • Vulvar cancer. Mayo Clin Health Lett, 2012, 20(7), 6.
    • Weikel, W., et al. Surgical therapy of recurrent vulvar cancer. Am J Obstet Gyn, 2016, 195(5), 1293-1302.


This website gives no advice about drinking alcohol and vulvar cancer risk. Please consult a doctor for health and medical advice.