Vaginal Cancer

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Vaginal cancer is a less common type of malignant disease. In fact, tt is a designation for a whole group of cancers that grow from the vaginal mucosa or local mucosal and submucosal glands.


The exact cause is not clear. Age is undoubtedly a risk factor, the tumor has much higher incidence in women above 50 years of age. Another supposed risk factor is infection by HPV (human papillomavirus), which is also responsible for cervical cancer.


The tumor may be found incidentally during gynecological examination. Its possible symptoms include vaginal bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse. Advanced stages may manifest with abdominal pain and signs of metastatic spread (weight loss, night sweats, loss of appetite, etc.).


The tumor may be found during a normal gynecological examination. Any suspicious lesions in vagina may be further visualized by a colposcope and the doctor should take some bioptic sample for histology.


The primary therapeutic method is surgical intervention, whose extent depends on the local stage and size of the tumor. Advanced cancer stages can be also treated by chemotherapy or local irradiation. The prognosis is excellent, when the tumor is found in time.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources