Duwartz had labia cancer: ‘It started with a burning sensation when urinating’ | Healthy

My diseaseAbout 1 million Dutch people have a rare condition. As a result, making the right diagnosis and finding the right treatment is often complicated. In this series, experts from experience talk about its impact. Today, Duvertje (37) on labia cancer: “When I got the bad news again after the second operation, I thought: I don’t know if this is going to be right.”

It started with a spot in the labia and a burning sensation when urinating. “It’s annoying,” DeWartz thought, “but there’s nothing to call a doctor right away.” He decided to do so a few weeks later when the complaints did not go away.

She returned from the GP with a diagnosis (skin condition lichen sclerosis) and a hormonal ointment, but with the feeling that something was not right. The ointment did not help, she read that lichen sclerosis sometimes causes cancer.

After persuading the laconic gynecologist, a biopsy was taken. It was with a lot of bleeding, and with a bad feeling DeWartz went home. A few weeks later, a bad result came: the ‘spot’ became malignant.


The risk of labia cancer is relatively small, and even younger women. It is unlikely that many functions will be required. Dwight had to be subjected to three. “When I got the bad news after the second operation, I thought: I don’t know if this is going to be right.”

What is labia cancer?

The exact cause of labia cancer is not known. However, women with valvular lichen sclerosis (LS) or chronic HPV infection are more likely to develop labia cancer (early stage). Surgery is usually the first treatment, while other options include chemotherapy, radiation or chemotherapy. Possible side effects include sexual problems, urinary or defecation problems, lymph nodes, fatigue and early menstruation. In the Netherlands, about 400 women are diagnosed each year. For more information and to contact fellow patients, please contact Olijf.nl.

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The operations were successful, but had consequences. ,, I get tired fast and mentally. I plan important work mainly in the morning because my concentration is very low in the afternoon. ”Due to a lymphedema, he wears a brief stocking,‘ very matter ’, even with hot weather.

What helped her was that she was always very active and walked as much as she could, even between operations. “It simply came to our notice then. I cycled for a while after the last surgery because walking was not possible. ”

Shoulders down

This explains Dwight Jay’s ‘shoulders-down attitude’. “I don’t like to whine and complain. Of course I am not all that positive. I was also crying in a corner. But you have to make progress with a family and you know what you are doing with it. ”


I’m not deliberately saying vulvar cancer, but labia cancer. Then it becomes immediately clear what is going on

Now she was always open to her boys between the ages of 5 and 8, sometimes jokingly making the process a little easier. “Then I had a drain with pink stuff and was told I got a raspberry orange.”

She didn’t mention the word ‘cancer’ because it was so emotional, but she didn’t hit around Bush when it came to others. “I did not deliberately say vulvar cancer, but labia cancer. It is immediately clear what is going on and I am not ashamed of it. “

Stability pays off

She advises others to be reassuring in similar situations: When in doubt, see a doctor. “You do not have to go to the doctor for every change. But sometimes you know if something goes wrong. We tread it very easily, especially as a young mother during the busy phase of life. “

He also noted the importance of staying confident in the hospital. ,, Continue to ask, do not think: it will be. Then the choices are made for you. Often things can be done differently, or a better explanation helps if there is no other way. ”

Not ready

Dowertze is grateful that he is the best. “I enjoy the little things again, like a picnic with the kids.”

She gave physically. “I can pretend that such a support balance does nothing, but in 37 years it’s nothing.” She’s not really afraid that the cancer will come back, but the checks create tension.

“After sending people the message that you’re clean, you notice that they do not care about it anymore. It’s certainly understandable, but very difficult. I still work a lot for myself.”

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