Vulva cancer is rare type of cancer which forms in a woman’s external genitalia called the vulva. The vulva is an area of the skin that surrounds the vagina and urethra, including mons pubis, perineum, labia, bartholin glands, and clitoris. The labia majora is the most common site to develop vulva cancer. The cancer can occur at any age but primarily affects older women over the age of 65 years. Symptoms of the cancer include pain, itching, bleeding in between menstruation cycle, and tenderness. It often forms lump or sore. Women who are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) are at a higher risk of developing vulva cancer. Although the most common cause is viral infection, but factors such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, immune system deficiency, lichen sclerosus, and presence of precancerous conditions such as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, increase the risk of vulva cancer. Vulva cancer is the fourth most common gynecologic cancer comprising of 4.7% of malignant neoplasms in the genital tract.
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Based on predisposing factor, the vulva cancer market is segmented as human papillomavirus-associated vulva cancer and human papillomavirus unassociated vulva cancer. The human papillomavirus-associated vulva cancer segment is expected to grow as 50%-75% of vulva cancer cases are due to human papillomavirus infection. Based on type, the market is classified as squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, vulvar melanoma, and vulvar sarcoma. The squamous cell carcinoma segment is projected to grow as 95% of the vulvar cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, followed by melanoma and sarcoma. Based on treatment, the market is segmented as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The surgery segment includes laser surgery, vulvectomy, pelvic exenteration, and excision.
The chemotherapy segment involves the use of drugs that kill and control the growth of cancerous cell. Chemotherapy may also include monotherapy or a combination of two or more drugs depending upon the type of cancer and rate of progression. The chemotherapy segment is expected to grow due to the development of new molecules such as nivolumab by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for the treatment of vulva cancer. Increase in incidence rate, development of new therapies such as biologics, burden of human papillomavirus infection in women, increase in incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, and less surveillance rate are the factors boosting the growth of the vulva cancer market. However, high cost of therapy and side effects associated with it are factors hampering the growth of the vulva cancer market.
Geographically, the vulva cancer market is dominated by North America, followed by Europe, due to increase in incidence rate, rise in geriatric population, and growth in research and development expenditure. Asia Pacific is an emerging market due to the developing health care infrastructure, increase in incidence rate, and rising government expenditure in the health care industry. Factors such as rising awareness about vulva cancer and improving economy are driving the vulva cancer market in Middle East & Africa. However, high cost of therapy and lack of proper treatment are restraining the growth of the Middle East & Africa market.
Key players operating in the vulva cancer market include ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., ORYX GmbH & Co. KG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Celgene Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Johnson & Johnson, PDS Biotechnology Corporation, Novartis AG, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., and Amgen Inc.
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