Referred to the abnormal growth and development of tissue and cysts in the vagina of a female, vaginal cancer is a rare condition which affects the female organ responsible for reproduction.
Risk Factors, Incidence And Causes Related To Vaginal Cancer
The spreading of other cancerous growths such as endometrial or cervical cancer is one of the main causes connected with the incidence of vaginal cancer in patients. Often known as secondary vaginal cancer, this is a common condition among many women suffering from the disease.
Primary vaginal cancer develops in the squamous cells present in the skin and is labeled as “squamous cell cancer” by experts in the field. The other popular kinds of vaginal cancer are melanoma (3%), sarcoma (3%) and adenocarcinoma (6%).
Vaginal cancer is more commonly found in women aged over 50 years whereas younger women are more likely diagnosed for Adenocarcinomas in their vagina. With the average age for this condition being only 19 years, it is important to consult a gynecologist as soon as the symptoms start appearing.
Women who had to take diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the first trimester of their previous pregnancies are likely to have daughters suffering from the signs of vaginal adenocarcinoma.
Symptoms Of Vaginal Cancer
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer include light or heavy bleeding after an act of sexual intercourse or painless discharge and vaginal bleeding in normal times. Some patients may also complain of pain in their vagina or pelvis. Apart from these symptoms which may arise in certain women, vaginal cancer is generally asymptotic.
Tests and Signs
Pap smear tests and normal pelvic examinations often reveal the presence of cancer in patients who fail to show any clear symptoms of the presence of vaginal cancer. The other commonly conducted tests for certifying the presence of vaginal tumors or cancer include Colposcopy or Biopsy along with a Chest X-Ray and a CT scan of the pelvis and abdomen.
Treatment Of Vaginal Cancer
The different methods of treatment of vaginal cancer are dependent on the extent of spread of the disease and its type. In some cases surgical intervention may be recommended to remove the presence of cancerous growth while most patients are advised laser treatment for alleviation of their symptoms.
Chemotherapy and radiation are introduced as treatment measures in patients who suffer from vaginal cancer which has spread from their cervix. The treatment of Sarcoma botryoides includes a combination of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy.
Prognosis Of Vaginal Cancer
Reaction of the patients to various treatment methods is dependent on the type of tumor in the vagina and the stage in which it is diagnosed. Some patients may suffer from increased complications if the cancerous growth spreads to other portions of their body.
With negligible ways of preventing vaginal cancer, the best way to avoid the same is through an early detection and timely appointment with medical experts and specialists in the field. Several organizations and women groups are involved in helping women deal with the signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer and helping in guiding them to the right medical treatment on time.
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