One of the rarest cancers in women is Vaginal Cancer which affects the inner lining of the vagina. Generally, this disease has no visible symptoms. However, your gynae onco surgeon in Siliguri might suggest for regular check-ups and Pap smears to detect any possibility if you have vaginal cancer or not.
What Is Vaginal Cancer?
The cervix or lower part of the uterus is connected to the vulva through the vagina. Vaginal cancer affects the inner lining of the tube-like organ called vagina. Sometimes other types of cancers like cervical cancer and uterine cancer spread through the vagina but cancer arising in the vagina is quite rare.
Different Types Of Vaginal Cancer
Depending upon the cell where the vaginal cancer originates, the different types of vaginal cancer are:
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Who Is At Higher Risk Of Having Vaginal Cancer?
The following cases have a higher risk of getting vaginal cancer:
- Females above age 60
- Those suffering from Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Those diagnosed with Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia
- Cervical cancer or Cervical dysplasia patients
- Those exposed to Diethylstilbestrol
- Addicted to Smoking
Signs & Symptoms Of Vaginal Cancer
Usually, vaginal cancer does not have any explicit symptoms and the abnormality in cells is detected only during regular screening by a medical practitioner. However, when the situation complicates, the following symptoms may be visible:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Painful intercourse
- A visible lump or mass in the vagina
- Painful urination
- Pelvic pain
However, not all of the above symptoms indicate vaginal cancer for sure and are not serious enough to be taken as a sure-shot sign of vaginal cancer. Only a proper medical screening by a doctor can confirm vaginal cancer.
How Does Vaginal Cancer Spread?
Like all other cancer cells, vaginal cancer cells also keep growing rather than growing, multiplying, and then dying like normal cells. The cells grow abnormally and form tumors. With time, these tumors spread to other parts of the body and destroy healthy cells as well.
How Is Vaginal Cancer Diagnosed?
A healthcare provider usually conducts several tests to check for the possibility of vaginal cancer. Some of the most common tests performed by doctors to test for cancer are:
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- Biopsy Test
How Is Vaginal Cancer Treated?
Depending upon the stage of cancer, the age of the patient, and other medical history, your gynae onco surgeon in Siliguri starts the treatment process that involves the following:
- Clinical trials
How Can One Reduce The Risk Of Vaginal Cancer?
The best way to reduce the risk of vaginal cancer is by doing the following precautionary measures:
- Getting pelvic exam and pap smear test
- Getting HPV Vaccine
- Quit smoking
While vaginal cancer comes with almost no symptoms, it can grow and spread rapidly affecting other parts of the body. Therefore it is important to keep a check on internal organs through regular medical checkups and screening tests that indicate the growth of any abnormal cells in the body.