Vaginal Cancer – What it is, Causes and Treatments

Vaginal Cancer – What it is, Causes and Treatments Treatment will depend on where the cancer is in the vagina . Also,  Vaginal Cancer  is a rare type of cancer that starts in the vagina . Around 260 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year. Vaginal cancer  that starts in the vagina  is called primary vaginal cancer.

Cancer that starts in another part of the body – such as the cervix, uterus or ovaries – and spreads to the vagina  is known as secondary Vaginal Cancer . This topic is about primary vaginal cancer . There are separate topics on cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer . So, check now  Vaginal Cancer – What is it, Causes and TreatmentsCauses Vaginal Cancer:  The exact causes of Vaginal Cancer are unknown, but things that can increase your risk of developing it include:

  • Being infected with a particularly persistent type of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be transmitted during sex.
  • Your age – seven out of 10 cases of Vaginal Cancer affect women over 60, although some rare types can affect teenagers and women in their 20s.
  • A previous history of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) – abnormal cells in the vagina  or cervix that can sometimes become cancerous.

As there is a possible link to HPV, it may be possible to reduce the risk of Vaginal Cancer by practicing safer sex. Read more advice on preventing sexually transmitted infections (STDs).

The HPV vaccination, which is now routinely offered to girls ages 12 to 13, offers protection against two strains of HPV thought to be responsible for most cases of Vaginal and Cervical Cancer .

Treating Vaginal Cancer:

  • Treatment for Vaginal Cancer will depend on where the cancer is in the vagina and how far it has spread. Possible treatments include radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
  • When you are diagnosed with Vaginal Cancer , you will be cared for by a group of different healthcare professionals, known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
  • Your MDT will include a range of specialists, including surgeons, clinical oncologists (specialists in the non-surgical treatment of Vaginal Cancer ), and specialist cancer nurses .
  • Your MDT will recommend a treatment plan they think is best for you, but the final decision will be yours.

Before going to the hospital to discuss your treatment options, you may find it helpful to write a list of questions to ask the specialist. For example, you might want to find out the advantages and disadvantages of specific treatments.

Signs and Symptoms:  The most common symptom of Vaginal Cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding . That includes:

  • Bleeding between normal periods or after sex
  • Bleeding after menopause (postmenopausal bleeding)

Other Symptoms May Include:

  • Bad or bloody vaginal discharge .
  • Pain during sex.
  • Pain when urinating.
  • Needing to urinate more often than usual.
  • Blood in your urine.
  • pelvic pain.
  • An itch or lump in Vaginal Cancer .

See your GP if you have any abnormal vaginal bleeding , changes in your usual period pattern (such as irregular periods or periods that are heavier than usual), or problems urinating .

Useful links: 

While these symptoms are highly unlikely to be caused by Vaginal Cancer , they should still be investigated by your GP. Read more about diagnosing Vaginal Cancer .

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