Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) is a precancerous condition that affects the external female genitalia.

About Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Squamous cells are thin cells found on your skin’s surface and lining hollow organs like the vagina. Disruptions to vulvar squamous cell function from infection or inflammation can cause abnormal cell growth. Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) emerges at the early stage of this growth and can progress to a form of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. While there is no routine screening test for VIN, a positive HPV test can prompt your provider to visually assess your vulva for the condition so that your condition can be addressed proactively.

Types of Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Different causes of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia lead to different forms of the condition.

Types of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia include:

  • Usual type (uVIN): The most common form of VIN, related to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Differentiated type (dVIN): Related to chronic inflammation skin conditions such as lichen sclerosus.

Symptoms of Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Many patients with VIN have no symptoms.

Symptoms of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia may include:

  • Vulvar itching
  • Vulvar skin that is thicker or differently colored from the surrounding skin

Risk Factors for Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Most risk factors for VIN are related to the condition’s two causes: chronic inflammation and HPV infection.

Risk factors for vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia may include:

  • Age: uVIN is more common among younger people while dVIN is more common among the older population.
  • Background: VIN has a higher incidence rate among white women.
  • Health history: Immunocompromised individuals and those with a previous HPV infection are more likely to develop VIN.
  • Personal history: Individuals who smoke or who have more sexual partners are at higher risk for VIN.

Treating Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Surgically removing or treating the precancerous tissue can prevent your condition to progressing to vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, a form of vulvar cancer. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.

Care Team Approach

Patients are cared for by a dedicated multidisciplinary care team, meaning you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines. Our gynecologic oncologists work alongside a team of women’s health experts, including radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, oncofertility specialists, onco-psychiatrists, genetic counselors, physical therapists, dietitians, social workers, and more, to provide unparalleled care for patients every step of the way.

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