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Your QuestionHave there been any specific genetic findings concerning vulvar cancer? In my family, three female relatives had vulvar cancer, squamous cell carcinoma type. I am concerned for all the females in my extended family and would be interested in any information you could offer.
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Most vulvar cancers occur by chance due to older age or human papillomavirus infection. However, an inherited condition called Fanconi anemia is associated with a significantly increased risk for vulvar cancer. This condition is very rare and may cause only a small proportion of all vulvar cancers. There is also some evidence that a small number of vulvar cancers may be related to a genetic predisposition: one research study found that relatives of individuals with vulvar cancer have a slightly increased risk to develop vulvar cancer, which suggests there may be a genetic component to this disease that could be shared by family members, but the specific gene is not yet known.
Last updated: 7/27/2012
- Rosenberg PS, Alter BP, Ebell W. Cancer risks in Fanconi anemia: findings from the German Fanconi Anemia Registry. Haematologica. 2008; 93:511-517. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18322251. Accessed 7/20/2012.
- Hussain SK, Sundquist J, Hemminki K. Familial clustering of cancer at human papillomavirus-associated sites according to the Swedish Family-Cancer Database. International Journal of Cancer. 2008; 122:1873-1878. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18074353. Accessed 7/20/2012.