Women’s Cancer Communication Project
Coordinated by the European Institute of Women’s Health
|The vagina is the passageway through which fluid passes out of the body during menstrual periods and through which a woman has babies. It is also called the birth canal. The vagina connects the cervix and the vulva. Vaginal cancer is rare. Vaginal cancer is a cancer where the cancer cells are found in the tissues of the vagina.|
The highest incidence is among 60 – 70 year old women. However, this type of cancer can affect women at any age. Even if you have had a hysterectomy, you still have a chance of developing vaginal cancer. Like most cancers it is best treated when it is found early.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Bleeding not related to periods. Difficult or painful urination. Pain during intercourse. Pain in the pelvic area.
SIGNS AND TESTS
If suspected your doctor may use several tests to see if this kind of cancer is present , these include an internal pelvic exam and a cervical smear. If unusual cells are found, your doctor will need to do a biopsy. Your doctor should not only look at the vagina but also at the other organs in your pelvis to see exactly where the cancer may have started and where it may have spread to. Your doctor may take an x-ray of your chest to make the cancer has not spread to your lungs.
Surgery is the most common treatment for all stages of cancer of the vagina. The type of treatment chosen will depend on the stage of the cancer, your age and overall condition.