Vaginal cancer

Primary cancer of the vagina is rare, encompassing only 3% of all malignant tumors of the female genital tract. Most often women can get vaginal cancer after the cancer has spread from another part of the body to the vagina.  Due to the complexity of diagnosing and treating cancer, it is advised that a gynecologic-oncologist (gynecologist with special additional education in the field of gynecological oncology) deal with this disease.

For an examination and consultation, make an appointment at our gynecological clinic. An online consultation is also available.

What is vaginal cancer?

– When a normal cell of the vagina changes into an abnormal one and begins to multiply without control, vaginal cancer occurs. There are different types of vaginal cancer depending on the type of the affected cell.

What are the symptoms of vaginal cancer?

– Some women with vaginal cancer have no symptoms. We can discover it when we do a routine Pap test to a woman in order to check her cervix. When vaginal cancer causes symptoms, the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding from the vagina. Bleeding usually occurs after sexual intercourse or in women who have already gone through menopause.

Other symptoms of vaginal cancer may include:

  • A liquid, bloody discharge from the vagina that smells bad
  • Pain when urinating, blood in the urine or the need to urinate frequently
  • Problems with bowel movements, black stools, or feelings of need for stools when your bowels are empty.

All of these symptoms can be caused by some other non-cancer conditions, but if you notice them, contact us for an examination or online consultation.

Is there a test for vaginal cancer?

– Yes, there is. To check if you have vaginal cancer, you need to come for an examination. During the examination under the colposcope (a device that allows us to enlarge the image), we will take a biopsy. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from an area that looks like a cancer. You will receive the biopsy results in a few days.

What is cancer staging?

– Determining how far the cancer has spread.

How is vaginal cancer treated?

– The appropriate treatment for you will depend on the stage of the cancer, its size and location in your vagina. Your treatment will also depend on your age and other medical problems if you have. Treatment for vaginal cancer includes one or more of the following: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy.

What happens after the treatment?

– The treatment is followed by a monitoring. You will come for check-ups at certain intervals in order to check if the cancer is coming back. Tests usually include blood tests, Pap tests and imaging tests.

You should also pay attention for the symptoms mentioned above. Let us know if you notice them. They could mean that the cancer has returned.

What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?

– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you may have more surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?

– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you might have more surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

What if I want to get pregnant in the future?

– If you have not yet gone through menopause and want to have a child in the future, we will assess your chances of pregnancy before starting treatment. Some women may still become pregnant after being treated for vaginal cancer. However, a woman cannot get pregnant after hysterectomy, radiation therapy or some type of chemotherapy.