Vagina cancer is a very rare type of cancer less than a few hundred are diagnosed in the UK each year. There are usually two types of this cancer, primary vaginal cancer in which the cancer developed in the vagina and secondary which is the most common where the cancer has spread from elsewhere in the body.
The causes behind this type of cancer are unknown however it is known that it cannot be passed onto others. The typical symptoms are bleeding from the vagina, pain and problems with passing urine, although it should be noted these symptoms could relate to other conditions so consulting a doctor is always advised.
To diagnose the problem doctors typically use the following tests: A full internal vaginal exam, which involves a specialist examining the entire vagina for swellings or lumps. A cervical smear test maybe used to examine the cells of the cervix and a colposcopy maybe used in which a small microscope is used to examine the vagina more fully.
After these tests it could be found that is not cancer at all and is simply another condition that is less life threatening such as something known as VAIN, which is a non-cancerous skin condition. However if it is found to be cancer then CT scans, an MRI and blood tests will be used to ascertain whether the cancer has spread further into the body to grade it depending on how advanced it is. Treatment depends on various medical factors such as age and health.
The most common treatment for this type of cancer is radiotherapy using high energy radiation rays to destroy the cancerous cells with as little damage to the surrounding healthy cells as possible. Due to the nature of radiotherapy it may create various side effects such as dry and itchy skin. Surgery may also be used to remove the cancer.
Filed Under: Vagina Cancer
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