Female genital cancers are an important cause of death in women. Numerous types of vaginal and vulvar cancers are seen in clinical practice, with main symptoms being vaginal bleeding, discharge, pruritus, local pain, and the presence of a mass. The diagnosis and identification of the exact tumor type rest on clinical criteria, findings obtained from imaging studies, and a properly obtained biopsy.
More than 100,000 new cancers of the female reproductive tract are diagnosed in the United States every year , suggesting its rather important place in the overall mortality from malignant diseases in women. Vulvar and vaginal cancers account for approximately 10% of all gynecological neoplasias and are not as common as uterine or ovarian cancer . The two respective types somewhat differ in their pathogenesis and clinical presentation     :
The prognosis of vulvar and vaginal cancers directly depends on the stage, and given the fact that an early local spread is observed for both tumors, a prompt diagnosis is of critical importance. The workup of female genital cancers involves a multistep process, starting with a thorough patient history and a meticulous physical examination, with an emphasis on the duration of symptoms and their progression and a detailed genital examination, respectively. Once sufficient clinical criteria exist for further evaluation, imaging studies must be employed. Various procedures have been described, including ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)      . In order to establish the tumor stage, it is important to assess the extent of tumor spread into local, but also distant tissues. MRI is considered to be a superior method for evaluation of local tumor invasion due to its higher sensitivity for discriminating soft-tissue structures, whereas both CT and MRI, but also FDG-PET might be performed if a nodal or metastatic spread is suspected   . Finally, a biopsy of the tumor provides important information regarding the degree of cellular proliferation, after which a definite diagnosis can be made  .