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Vaginal Cancer Diagnosis and Detection

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Vaginal cancer diagnosis would provide better treatment options. An early detection would enhance the survival chances of vaginal cancer patient. However, vaginal cancer symptoms are difficult to trace in its early days. A woman is said to have vaginal cancer when the vaginal cells grow uncontrollably and form a mass that is known as tumor. A vaginal cancer might be a benign one (in early stages of vaginal cancer) or a malignant (cancerous) one. The benign cancer is most likely to be in its first few stages of development and yet not become complicated. This, if detected on time might as well be cured without creating much fuss. But in case of a malignant tumor things have already gone a bit further than one would ideally like things to be.

The state of malignant cancer literally means the cancer is at an advanced stage and has grown beyond its site of origin and begun to affect areas coming under its contact. This if gone unnoticed or neglected for long might put the life of the concerned woman at risk. Hence, any woman who experiences things like a lump, unusual bleeding post the state of menopause, persistent itching or irritation in the vagina, blood in urine or stool, pain in pelvis etc should get themselves checked up without further delay. These might as well be happening for some reason not as serious but then it's always better to be safe than sorry.

The physician may ask the concerned woman to go through few rounds of test to determine the cause of the changes she is experiencing.

These are as mentioned below:

  • Biopsy: A biopsy is done so as to take out a sample from the suspected vaginal tissue and investigated under a microscope. This is done to check for any presence of cancerous cells and whether it's a benign or a malignant cancer

  • Pap test: A pap test is usually done by using a small wooden stick, a piece of cotton and a brush. These instruments are made use of by taking a cell sample from the surface of the vagina or cervix area. It is then examined under a microscope at the pathology to arrive at a possible presence of cancerous cells and whether they belong to benign or a malignant cancer type

  • Physical exam: A general physical examination is conducted to check overall health conditions of the patient and check for any signs of a disease etc. Past medical histories and treatments undergone are also looked upon

  • Endoscopy: Endoscope is an instrument with thin lighted tube and the test done using this is called an endoscopy test. This tube is flexible enough to be put inside the patient's body through some surgical opening, vagina or mouth etc

  • X-Ray: An X-ray test is necessitated to check for any possible spread of the cancer to body parts like the lungs etc. X-ray uses high energy beams to produce images of the inside of the body

  • Pelvic Test: A pelvic test is a test done in the pelvic organs of a female body. Checks are done in areas like vagina, uterus, bladder; ovary etc to arrive at any abnormal changes or lump that might be the sign of vaginal cancer occurrence

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is done to get images of the body parts. It uses magnetic fields to capture those detailed images. These images would help the physician to check for any visible abnormal changes in the body

  • Computerized Tomography: A CT scan or computerized tomography test is the one that captures three dimensional images of inside of the body using X-ray. These pictures are then combined together to get a clear representation of what is happening inside the body

  • Positron Emission Tomography test: A PET test too helps produce images of inside the body. It first sends some kind of radioactive substance inside the patient's body and then the physician puts inside a scanner to detect this substance and capture the detailed images inside the body. In case of a presence of cancer some amount of the radioactive substance might get absorbed as cancers are known to feed on energy and develop further

The above mentioned tests help a patient to know her status and a physician to do vaginal cancer diagnosis and determine the possible presence of cancer and its stage. If it's found to be cancer it would help start treatment right away, so an early detection is always better. It depends on the woman as to how fast she approaches the doctor with her case or prefers to ignore things. However, treatment of a woman diagnosed with vaginal cancer would depend on factors like, age of the patient, stage of the cancer, type of symptoms etc.

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