Vulval Cancer


My mum, 82 has been diagnosed with vulva cancer which has spread to a lymph node in her groin and the opening of the bowel.  We are awaiting an appointment for radiotherapy.  We are asking if you could suggest something to help with the pain on sitting, mum finds it very painful to sit properly. We purchased one of the putnam cushions but it hasn’t helped. Maybe something made of lambswool? At a loss as to how to help.

Thank you, Jan

  • Hello Jan,

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to our Online Community.

    We’re sorry to read that your mum is having so much discomfort when trying to sit, this can be really distressing.

    The cushion you describe can be of great benefit to some people but as you’ve found it’s not the answer for everyone unfortunately.

    Some people will try gel cushions or memory foam.

    Sometimes an air-filled cushion can help, the type that come with a pump ( not the donut type).

    In hospitals the most common type of air cushion is called a Repose cushion.

    Your local district nurses may be able to offer advice as some of these types of cushions might be available on prescription.

    They may also carry out a skin assessment to work out if your mum is at risk of developing pressure sores.

    Lambswool or sheepskin can be a comfortable surface too but it’s likely to be the pressure relieving properties of the cushion that will help the most.

    It’s often a case of trial  and  error to find the right product which is why it might help to ask your district nurses for advice.

    It’s also worth speaking to your mum’s GP to make sure her pain relief is adequate for her . Again, pain killers often need a regular review.

    I hope this information is helpful but please get back in touch if you have further questions.

    I’m sure the members of the vulva cancer online forum will share their experience of sitting comfortably with you .

    Best wishes to you and your mum,


    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist