Vaginal cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the vagina, which is the canal that leads from the cervix to the vulva. It is a rare form of cancer, accounting for less than 1% of all gynecologic cancers. In 2019, there were 1,368 women who were diagnosed with vaginal cancer in the United States, and 431 women died because of it.
Here, we talk about everything you need to know about this disease, and where to go in North Miami for vaginal cancer screening and diagnostics.
Are There Different Types of Vaginal Cancer?
There are two main types of vaginal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinomas make up about 90% of all vaginal cancers, and adenocarcinomas make up about 10%. Other, less common types include sarcomas and melanomas.
What Are The Symptoms?
The most common symptom of vaginal cancer is abnormal bleeding, which can occur during sex, after menopause, or between periods. Other symptoms may include pain during sex, pelvic pain, a lump, and unusual discharge from the vagina. Pain when urinating and constipation are also reported symptoms of vaginal cancer.
What Causes it?
The cause of vaginal cancer is not known, however, risk factors include being over the age of 60, having had cervical precancer or HPV, having had a hysterectomy, smoking, and having exposure to DES (diethylstilbestrol) before birth. DES was a drug given to pregnant women to prevent a miscarriage, which has been linked to a rare form of vaginal cancer.
How is it Treated?
Treatment for vaginal cancer depends on the type, size, and stage of cancer. When caught early, vaginal cancer can be treated successfully with surgery or radiation therapy. In more advanced cases, chemotherapy may also be used in addition to surgery or radiation therapy. The partial or complete removal of the vagina or the pelvic organs may also be necessary.
Vaginal Cancer Screening
Vaginal cancer can be found early, while it is still highly treatable since it has not spread to other parts of the body. A gynecologist, during a pelvic exam, a Pap smear, or a vaginal exam, can detect abnormalities that may point to early-stage vaginal cancer. For this reason, it is important to go see your gynecologist regularly, according to the recommendation of at least once a year. The prognosis depends on the stage and size of the cancer when it is diagnosed.
Top Gynecologist in North Miami, FL
At Levin’s Women’s Health & Wellness Center, we offer comprehensive healthcare services for women, from treatments, screenings, and cosmetic procedures to wellness products and programs. Our highly trained, experienced, and qualified OB-GYNs use on-site, state-of-the-art technologies to screen and diagnose vaginal cancer, which, while rare, is still a serious health concern. We understand how every woman has unique needs, and we tailor our recommendations according to your specific needs and enhance your overall health and life.
Our team is proud to offer women’s health care services to patients who speak different languages, such as French, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish. For any questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our OB-GYNs, call our office today at (305) 981-0231 or use our convenient online request form.