Many types of cancer are well-known today because of their high rate of occurrence. Lung and breast cancers are the top cancer killers for women — but there are many other cancers that affect women too.
Vulvar cancer, a cancer of the female external genital area, is a fairly rare form of cancer. However, it is caused by a very common virus that affects more than 14 million people each year: human papillomavirus (HPV). In fact, the CDC estimates that up to 90 percent of sexually active people will contract some form of HPV in their lifetime. Although many forms of HPV will go away on their own, some have the ability to cause genital cancers later. Vulvar cancer is one of those cancers. Some people who get vulvar cancer, however, never had HPV.