Vaginal Cancer Therapy

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Vaginal cancer therapy is applied as per the individual conditions of the patients. This would depend on the size, location, and stage of the tumor. While deciding upon the kind of therapy to be applied, the physician has to take into account all these possibilities. Therapy is usually applied in case of a metastasis or when the cancer has reached an advanced stage. The cancerous cells normally would have moved beyond its original place, spread to other areas of the body and damaged them in the process as well. So, it's important not to turn blind to early signs.

Symptoms of vaginal cancer include abnormal vaginal lump, vaginal irritation, itching etc

No one should take it lightly and immediately consult a doctor. The doctor would ask the woman to undergo some tests in order to make certain the type or the stage of cancer the woman might have reached. Two women suffering from vaginal cancer would still differ from each other when it comes to the kind of treatment recommended. This is so because treatment depends on factors such as location of tumor, its current size, how deep its in the skin and moreover the age that the woman is in. According to these differences even the medical procedure is also going to be different but best suitable for each patient. This also helps have a better prognosis or less complicated life for the concerned patient

Few therapies that could be applied to patients with vaginal cancer are mentioned as below:

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high energy rays to kill off the cancerous cells inside the vagina by aiming this high energy beam at them. Radiation therapy can be applied both before and after having gone through the surgery. Radiation therapy before surgery is required in order to shrink the tumor so that only a minor surgery would suffice. Sometimes even after surgery some cancerous cells are left in the body; radiation therapy might be required in such situation to kill off the remaining tumor. Radiation therapy is also administered in case of a recurrence of vaginal cancer. There are two types of radiation therapy that could be applied to the patient

  1. Internal radiation therapy: Internal radiation therapy is applied in the vagina near the cancer cells. It uses wires, catheters etc to place radioactive substance near the cancerous cells in the vagina to contain and kill of the tumor

  2. External radiation therapy: A machine is aimed at the vagina from outside the body and high energy beams are aimed at it to kill off the cancerous cells

  3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the cancerous cells from further dividing and spreading across the body. This would save other body parts from getting affected by it. Chemo therapy is sometimes used after the surgery to reduce the chances of a recurrence. This kills off any remaining cancerous cells in the body that could further spread and damage other normal body parts. This could also be applied prior to having had the surgery in order to shrink the size of tumor thereby ensuring only a small surgery to remove the tumor.

Vaginal cancer therapy would require a patient to either go through chemo therapy or radiation therapy as part of the treatment. Not many women would be comfortable with the idea of having to have surgery for vaginal cancer. But this would also help the patient have a better prognosis and help lead a healthy life. If one looks at the future this seems only a small price the patient has to pay for the precious life. Type of therapy to be applied would differ from individual to individual depending on their medical condition.

The patient should be alert enough to detect the abnormal changes taking place in her body and report it to the doctor immediately. Early detection could mean the cancer is still in the benign stage. Benign cancer if treated early has good chance of recovery. While in case of malignant cancer, it's difficult to contain it, as it is very likely that it has spread and begun to damage body parts beyond the point of origin. Hence, malignant tumor is always complicated. However, traumatic it could be on the part of the patient to go through the therapy, it's always recommended to keep aside the embarrassment and hesitation aside, for life is yet not over even if one gets diagnosed with vaginal cancer

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