There is no national screening for vulval cancer. Read about screening and why it is not suitable for vulval cancer.
What is screening?
Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease. This is before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:
- need to be reliable at picking up cancers
- overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
- must be something that people are willing to do
Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.
There is no national screening programme for vulval cancer because:
- this condition is very rare, so many people would have unnecessary tests
- the benefits don't outweigh the costs
The cervical screening test (smear test) does not screen for vulval cancer. But when you have your smear test, the nurse or doctor should routinely examine your vulva. They may be able to see signs of abnormal cells.
Some doctors recommend that you look at your own vulva regularly to look for any changes to the skin.