|Gynaecologic Problems: Vaginal Cancer|
Cancer of the ,
a rare kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which malignant cells
are found in the tissues of the vagina. There are several types of cancer
of the vagina. The two most common are:
- Squamous cell cancer (squamous carcinoma).
Squamous carcinoma is most often found in women between the ages of
60 and 80, and accounts for 85-90 % of all vaginal cancers.
- Adenocarcinoma . Adenocarcinoma is more
often found in women between the ages of 12 and 30, and accounts for
5-10 % of all vaginal cancers.
- A rare form of cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma results
from the use of the drug (diethylstilbestrol)
given to pregnant women between 1945 and 1970 to keep them from miscarrying.
Other types of vaginal cancer include:
- Malignant melanoma .
- Leiomyosarcoma .
- Rhabdomyosarcoma .
For information on the other main cancers to affect
the go .
What are risk factors for vaginal cancer?
The following have been suggested as risk factors for vaginal cancer:
- 40 % of women are older than 60, with most between ages 50 and
- Exposure to
(DES) as a (mother
took DES during pregnancy).
- Vaginal adenosis.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
- history of .
- History of cervical precancerous conditions.
- Vaginal irritation.
- Uterine prolapse.
Symptoms and Signs
There are a number of benign conditions that can produce similar symptoms
as vaginal cancer. Consult your physician for a diagnosis if you experience
any/all of the following.
- Bleeding or discharge not related to .
- Difficult or painful urination.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Pain in the pelvic area.
- A mass that can be felt.
Even if a woman has had a
hysterectomy, she still has a chance of developing vaginal cancer.
Diagnosis and Treatment
There are several tests used to diagnose vaginal cancer, including:
of the vagina, and other organs in the pelvis, checking for tumours,
lumps, or masses (i.e., may include )
obtain tissue for examination in a laboratory
Generally, there are three kinds of treatment available for patients
with cancerous or precancerous conditions of the vagina:
- Surgery , including:
Laser surgery to remove the cancer, including
LEEP (loop electroexcision procedure) and a local excision to remove the cancer, vaginectomy (partial) to remove the vagina.
- Chemotherapy (topical).
- Radiation therapy .
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
Motherisk, The Hospital for Sick Children:
(def;articles & more)