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Vaginal Cancer Symptoms and Early Signs

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Vaginal Cancer Symptoms are hard to find out in its early stages. It usually doesn't send out a clear indication as to what's happening. It is normally a rare kind of disease. So, if any woman faces problems like, pain in pelvic region, pain during intercourse, vaginal swelling or abnormal bleeding they should immediately consult a doctor. An abnormal cell first develops in the vagina and then it starts to divide and turns into cancer. If gone unnoticed this has the potential to create major health concern later on.

A tumor can be of two types, a benign tumor or a malignant tumor. A benign tumor is believed to be in its early stages and concentrated at one place, hence still curable. A malignant cancer on the other hand is the one with the potential to spread to other body parts. A cancer cell quickly divides and forms many cancer cells that again keeps multiplying and affects the whole body. This if not detected and treated on time keeps growing and eventually turns out fatal for the patient. Hence to spread awareness about cancer of vagina is very important.

Vaginal cancer sums up about only 3% of total gynecological cancers; nonetheless, such cancers should not be ignored. Some women do not even experience any symptoms at all and it is detected by a pap test. It's a test wherein sample from a woman's cervix is collected a smeared on the microscope slide. This sample is then investigated for any possible presence of cancerous cells in the vagina. In case cancerous cells are found the patient will have to undergo a biopsy test. In biopsy sample cells are taken not only from vagina but also from cervix. A biopsy also helps find out the type of vaginal cancer the patient is suffering from. As per a report about 2000 women in America fall victim to vaginal cancer each year. This constitutes around 2% of total cancer cases in the U.S.

A woman affected with vaginal cancer might belong to any of the following types of vaginal cancer

  1. Malignant Melanomas Sarcoma: This cancer occurs in very distinct cases and not found that easily
  2. Squamous Cell Cancer: This is the most commonly found vaginal cancer that generally makes women in the age group of 50 to 70 its victims. This type of cancer affects the upper part of the vagina
  3. Adenocarcinoma: This type of vaginal cancer is mostly found in women in the age bracket of 12 to 30. However, this might also affect women above this age group

Vaginal cancer symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, and vaginal bleeding etc. A woman experiencing vaginal bleeding after her menopause is most likely to be vaginal cancer. As the vaginal cancer grows it begins to affect its nearby organs as well like, bladder, pelvis region, rectum etc. Pain in pelvic region and blood in stool or urine might be an indication that the cancer has grown and spread. This type of advanced state of cancer might also affect other distant parts like bones, lung, brain etc.

Vaginal cancer symptoms can be studied as under:

  • Vaginal Mass: If there is some presence of mass in the vagina, one should immediately get in touch with her physician. This might also be because of some other reason but then a biopsy is recommended to check it for any cancerous cells

  • Vaginal Discharge: Itching in the vagina, any discharge with a foul odor or with a hint of blood must be reported to the doctor. This might not necessarily be due to cancer but then the person should not take a chance

  • Change in Bowel Movement: An abnormal change in bowel function shouldn't go unnoticed. One might experience changes like black or hard stool, feeling like the bowels haven't been emptied completely

  • Vaginal Bleeding: Any vaginal bleeding not related to menstruation or after the state of menopause cannot be overlooked and need to be investigated

  • Pelvic Pain: A woman generally experiences pelvic pain in abdomen below the navel part. This might also be an indication that the cancer has spread or is in advanced stage

  • Change in Urination: If someone finds blood in her urine or feels pain during urination or feeling the need for frequent urination it might be a cause of concern. Anybody who notices such changes should immediately speak to her concerned doctor

In such case that a woman develops vaginal cancer she should at once consult with her physician and get herself checked upon to determine the cause of the strange changes in the vagina or other body parts. A prompt diagnosis would provide better treatment options and a confidence that it could be cured.

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