Vaginal Cancer Treatment

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Vaginal Cancer

Overview

A cancer that forms in the tissues of the vagina is known as Vaginal Cancer. The vagina is the muscular tube that connects your uterus with your outer genitals. The cancer occurs more often in women over fifty. There are possibilities where it can occur even during infancy for women.

Female Genital Tract


Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal Cancer

In order to effectively treat the cancer, a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy is performed.


The various types of vaginal cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: A type where cancer forms in the thin, flat cells lining the inside of the vagina. The rate of growth is slow and the cancer typically stays near the vagina. It may also spread to the lungs, liver or bone. This is the most common type of vaginal cancer.
  • Adenocarcinoma: It is the cancer which begins in the glandular cells. The glandular cells located in the lining of the vagina, is responsible for the production of the mucus. Adenocarcinoma is more likely to spread to the lungs and lymph nodes.
  • Vaginal melanoma: It develops in the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) of your vagina.
  • Vaginal sarcoma: It develops in the connective tissue cells or muscles cells in the walls of your vagina.

FAQs about Vaginal cancer

Symptoms

Vaginal cancer often does not cause early symptoms and may be found during a routine Pap test (a type of test where the cervix is checked to see for any abnormality in the cells). Otherwise, some of the symptoms include:

  • Unusual bleeding or discharge not related to menstrual periods
  • Watery vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • A lump in the vagina
Causes
The various causes of vaginal cancer are:
  • Age- Patient generally above the age of 60 are at a higher risk of getting the cancer.
  • Exposure to the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) before birth- The DES is a synthetic form of the oestrogen hormone. It was prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage, premature labour and related complications arising during pregnancy. Women who were exposed to DES before birth have an increased risk of developing vaginal cancer. Some of these women develop a rare form of cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma.
  • There has been a link to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection and vaginal cancer.
  • A history of abnormal cells in the cervix or cervical cancer.
Staging and Treatment Diagnosis Treatment