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Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi, this is my first time on this site and I'm not sure how this discussion board works, but here goes...

I was diagnosed with VIN III Feb. 2003. I have yet to see the gyn oncologist that my family dr. has referred me to. I've been back and forth with the insurance co. since there is no gyn oncologist in my city, with the nearest being an hour away. The oncologist's office has said that any ob/gyn could perform the laser surgery, I need. After reading about this diagnosis on the Amer. Cancer Society web page, it sounds like my family dr. was right to refer me to a gyn oncologist after talking with the ob/gyn's within her network. My dr. told me that she thought that the laser would probably be all I needed and that this was not unlike the cervical dysplasia that I've been treated for twice in 25 years. She said it was a sort of skin cancer. Skin cancer, in general, is a concern for me because my only sibling died of a melanoma at age 33. I've also read that vulvar melanoma can look similar. Concerning the original biopsy, is that the only test done or should there be more done? I would appreciate hearing from anyone that could give me any information that you only know from going through this. Thanks

Posts: 41
Joined: Feb 2003

Hi I have had laser surgery along with a couple other surgeries in between. (i wrote a reply to another message on the board) if you can find it I won't have to rehash all I've been through. Fortunately, my cancer hasn't spread farther than the labia majora/minora and part of clitoris. The laser suregery wasn't bad - make SURE you get Rx for lidocain cream and pain relievers! The first couple days I didn't hurt much, but when the feeling returns to the area you'll want some relief. I'm not sure if there is a definate connection to skin cancer. No one has approached me with that fact. Definately see the oncologist, they can watch and monitor better than a regular gyn. You never know if it will spread or how fast.
The vulvar cancer probably does resemble skin cancer. Right now you're probably red, maybe a little bumpy, right? Kind of like a rash? I've never had anything but biopsies to confirm or negate any concerns. I have had biopsies that were pretty wide and deep and I've had to be under general anes. but no other tests.
I'll be undergoing another laser surgery April 21st. I always tell myself that there are people out there in dire straits. If this is the worst for me, I'll take it. As long as it stays under control, but there's always that chance...
Make sure you have support at home. I found that to be the best medicine. Take care - hope you'll write again soon. Messages are few and far between!

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi, this is my first time on this site also. I've been looking for support groups like crazy. I have also been diagnosed with VIN III. The first time was last Fall(04) and it was only because I had a prolapsed rectum fixed with surgery. I was sent to the gyn oncologist right away. They thought it was taking out (saw this with doing a vinegar test) however the gyn oncologist and my ob/gyn wanted to be cautious. Thank God they were. I went for my first check-up about two weeks ago and it is back in spades. It involves both sides of vulva and back near rectum.The ob/gyn prescribed a ointment( chemotherapy type) that the gyn/oncologist wanted to try. I couldn't afford the ointment ($170.00) so I'm back at the doc's on the 25th of this month for surgery referral to gyn/oncologist. He's about an hour away from my home city.
I don't know anything about there being a reference to VIN III as being somewhat like skin cancer. I do suggest you see the gyn oncologist and ask a lot of questions. If you can't remember questions when you see the oncologist, it may be a good idea to write them down before going. I know I'll be writing questions down and taking them with me when I see the doc.
Take care and please contact me if you need to. crystalbee123@hotmail.com

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