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Vaginal Cancer Symptoms

The Vagina
The vagina is the birth canal. It develops from the cervix to outside the body. Cervix is the opening portion of the uterus. The vagina is called the birth canal because the baby comes out through this way at the time of delivery.

What is Vaginal Cancer?

The cancer is always named after the part where it gets started. The vaginal cancer is the cancer which affects the vagina. A cancer is called when the malignant or cancerous cells are found in the vagina. It is not a common type of cancer. It is treated when it is diagnosed in the early stages.

Types of Vaginal Cancer

The two types of vaginal cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinomas

Squamous cell carcinoma

This type of vaginal cancer is found in women who are 60 or who are above the age of 60. This is the most common type of vaginal cancer. It might proliferate into the stays near the vagina. Sometimes the liver and lungs are also affected.

Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas starts in secretory cells of the vagina. The granular cells or secretary cells are situated in the lining of the vagina. It secretes fluids. This type of vaginal cancer might be seen in women who are 30 or below the age of 30.

Vaginal Cancer Symptoms

The pap test might be sufficient to find out the symptoms of vaginal cancer. Vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of this cancer.

The primary symptoms of the vaginal cancer include the following:

  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
  • Fluid discharge which is not related to menses
  • Pain in pelvis
  • Vaginal lump
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Facts and Statistics on Vaginal Cancer:

  • Only one percent of cancers in the female reproductive system is the vaginal cancer.
  • Though it is rare, according to the National Cancer Institute, 2,160 new cases were reported 770 deaths took place due to this cancer last year (2009) in the United States.
S.No. Type of Vaginal Cancer 5 Year Survival Rate
1.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
54
2.
Adenocarcinoma
60
3.
Melanoma
13
  • Nearly 70 percent of vaginal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
  • The cancer is asymptomatic initially and it takes years for the symptoms to become apparent.
  • 15 percent of this type of cancers are adenocarcinomas which affect women above 50 years.
  • However, clear cell adenocarcinoma is a vaginal adenocarcinoma which is particularly common in young women.
  • 9 percent of cancer in the vegina are melanomas
  • 4 percent of vaginal cancers are sarcomas.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of sarcoma in the vagina which affects mostly the children and is rare in adults.
  • Leiomyosarcoma is a vaginal sarcoma more common in women above the age of 50 years.
  • The pre-cancerous condition of vegina is technically known as vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN), with its three types VAIN1, VAIN2 and VAIN3.
  • VAIN 3 indicates the very high possibility of a true cancer of vegina.
  • Women earlier treated for cervical cancer and those whose uterus was removed by surgery (technically called hysterectomy) have VAIN as a common condition.
  • Being above the age of 60 years, being infected with human papilloma virus, being cervical cancer patient can increase the risk of getting vaginal cancer.

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