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Obstetrics and Gynecology

Paget's Disease of the Vulva

Paget's disease of the vulva is a rare type of skin disease that develops on the vulva. It is very slow to spread and is typically found in women who have been through menopause. In some cases, an invasive cancer of the vulva is found below the area affected by Paget's disease.

What causes Paget's disease of the vulva?

Paget's disease of the vulva is caused by an abnormal change in the cells which cover the skin of the vulva.

What are the symptoms of Paget's disease of the vulva?

The most common symptoms are itching and patches of red and white scaly skin on the vulva, similar in appearance to eczema.

How is Paget's disease of the vulva diagnosed?

Diagnosis is confirmed by removing a small piece of tissue, known as a biopsy, and examining it under a microscope.

How is Paget's disease of the vulva treated?

The treatment of Paget's disease is surgery to remove the affected area of skin. Because the cancer may extend into what appears to be normal skin, a wide margin of tissue may be removed. Biopsies may be used to guide the surgery. Skin grafting may be needed in some cases. Paget's disease of the vulva tends to come back again. Women suffering from this condition should be closely monitored through regular visits to their OB/GYN. Paget's disease can also affect the gut and breast tissue so routine colonoscopies and mammograms are part of the treatment protocol.