Vaginal Cancer or Tumor

Pelvis | Oncology | Vaginal Cancer or Tumor (Disease)


Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer of the vagina - the muscular tube that connects the uterus and external genitalia. Vaginal cancer is most common in cells that line the surface of the vagina canal sometimes called the birth canal. While other forms of cancer can spread to other parts of the body vagina, cancer of the vagina (primary vaginal cancer) is rare.

Vaginal cancer is only 2-3% of gynecologic cancers. Women with vaginal cancer in early stage have the best chance of healing. Cancer that extends beyond the vagina is more difficult to be treated. Because vaginal cancer do not always lead to signs and symptoms, it is good for women to follow medical advice regarding routine pelvic examination.

Causes and Risk factors

In general, cancer occurs when cells appear healthy genetic changes that turn normal cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a rate established and eventually die at a scheduled time. Cancer cells grow and multiply out of control and not die.

Accumulation of abnormal cells causes a mass of cells (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can be drawn from the original tumor and disseminate to other areas of the body (metastasize). Most vaginal cancers - between 85 and 90% - occur in the squamous cells.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment options for vaginal cancer depends on several factors, including the type of vaginal cancer a person has and its stage. Surgery to remove the cancer is primarily used for early-stage vaginal cancer thats limited to the vagina or, in selected cases, nearby tissue.

Because many important organs are located in the pelvis, surgery to remove larger tumors would require removal of these organs. For this reason, the doctor may attempt to control the cancer through other treatment methods first. If the vagina is completely removed, it is possible to choose to undergo surgery in order to construct a new vagina. Surgeons use pieces of skin, sections of intestine or flaps of muscle from other areas of your body to form a new vagina. With some adjustments, a reconstructed vagina allows to have vaginal intercourse. For instance, a reconstructed vagina lacks natural lubrication and creates a different sensation when touched due to changes in surrounding nerves.

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy kills quickly growing cancer cells, but it may also damage nearby healthy cells, causing side effects. Side effects of radiation depend on the radiations intensity and where its aimed. ...