This is a cancer is rare and has treatment options that should be discussed with the gynecologist
The vaginal cancer is difficult to diagnose because it is usually hidden inside the vagina and can take years from arising until the first symptoms appear. This type of cancer arises on the form of metastasis of another cancer, which cannot even be found in the reproductive system. However, the most common is to be associated with uterine or vulvar cancer.
Other causes and risk factors are HPV infection, a history of precancerous lesions, multiple sexual partners, early onset of sexual activity, women with low immune system activity, smokers and those over 60. According to the Vencer or Cancer Institute, the vaginal type is more rare, representing 7% of gynecological tumors.
According to the Oncoguia Institute, the symptoms of cancer in the vagina can vary depending on whether it is invasive or advanced. Still, having one or more of these symptoms is no reason to think you have cancer. But it serves as an alert to consult a gynecologist.
Symptoms of invasive vagina cancer
In most cases, it has the following symptoms:
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina;
- Abnormal discharge;
- Palpable mass;
- Pain during sex.
- Advanced symptoms of cancer
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, when the disease is advanced, it can present:
Do you have a cure?
Yes, vaginal cancer has a cure, especially if it is treated as soon as possible. Even if the symptoms take time to appear, as soon as they appear, the woman should visit a doctor. Even without realizing the symptoms, it is important to visit the gynecologist to have Pap tests and other routine exams, since they can detect cancer early, which would increase the chances of cure and a less invasive treatment.
Treatments for vaginal cancer
This cancer can be treated and cured in various ways. The choice of the ideal treatment is made between the doctor and the patient, taking into account the general health conditions of the patient and the evolutionary state of the tumor. Know the options:
This treatment employs the use of ionizing radiation to destroy cancer cells or reduce their growth. It is common for this treatment to be combined with low-dose chemotherapy to reduce side effects, which are:
- Vaginal dryness;
- Weakness in the pelvic bones;
- Narrowing of the vagina.
This type of treatment, in addition to being combined with radiotherapy, can also be used at a time before the operation to reduce the size of the tumor. Medications are given orally or directly into the vein to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. This is the main treatment for most developed cancers. As this treatment is more aggressive and also affects healthy cells, it has more side effects. These might be:
- Hair loss;
- Lack of appetite;
- Mouth sores;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Changes in the menstrual cycle;
When possible, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the tumor, to prevent it from increasing or spreading. There are different types of surgeries that the doctor will explain in detail if this is an option for you.
In some cases, it is necessary to remove part of the vagina or uterus to prevent reoccurrence of the tumor. It is common to receive chemotherapy before, to reduce the tumor if necessary, and radiation therapy later, which eventually leads to healing.
In some cases, there is also the possibility of a topical treatment that involves applying an ointment or gel directly on the tumor in the vagina to eliminate cancer and cancer cells, and prevent the progression of the disease. Side effects are severe irritation of the vagina, with dryness and redness.