Vulvar Cancer

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Radiation Therapy

If you have vulvar cancer, your doctor may recommend that you have radiation therapy. You may only have radiation therapy or your may have radiation in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. Some women will be treated with all three therapies: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

External radiation
External radiation therapy typically is given five days a week for a period of five or six weeks, using a machine that looks much like a regular X-ray machine. The procedure is not painful and each treatment lasts only a few minutes.

You may have your radiation therapy at SCCA on an outpatient basis, under the supervision of UW Medicine radiation oncologist Dr. Wui-Jin Koh, who specializes in treating women with gynecologic cancers.

Adding chemotherapy
SCCA's parent organizations, UW Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, have been active in conducting research that has shown that adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy makes the treatment more effective. This is an example of research conducted at the parent organizations that benefits patients at SCCA and elsewhere.