As per to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1 out of every 1,100 women will have vaginal cancer it in her entire life, and only 15 % of cases happen in women under 40 age. (Roughly half of all cases occur in women older than 70.) Also, cancer which spreads beyond the vagina is much hard to treat.
Is Vaginal Cancer Same as Cervical Cancer?
No both are different. The cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix containing cancerous cells (a narrow structure that connects uterus to the vagina) while Vaginal cancer (Vulvar cancer) is rare cancer that occurs in your vagina. It is most commonly occurs in the cells that line at your vagina surface, which is sometimes called birth canal. Also, if a lady has cancer in both the vagina and cervix, it’s generally called cervical cancer.
Sometime early vaginal cancer shows no signs and, but as it grows, you need to look for unusual bleeding from the vagina. For example, after having sexual intercourse or after menopause, if you spot the following symptoms, then it’s sure that you need to consult the doctor immediately.
– Lump or mass in your vagina
– Abnormal Watery discharge
– Painful urination
– Frequent urination
– Pelvic pain
-Vaginal Squamous Cell Carcinoma- It is the most common type which starts in the thin and flat cells which queued at the surface of vagina, and they build slow.
-Vaginal Adenocarcinoma- It begins in the glandular cells on the vagina surface (near the opening of secret mucus and vagina). This type form makes nearly 15% of all cases of vaginal cancer and typically develops in the females over 50.
-Vaginal Melanoma- It builds in muscles cells or connective tissue cells in the vagina walls.
Survival Rates Differ Widely
Survival rates finally depend on what stage your cancer is at when it gets diagnosed. At stage 1, the survival rate is much more as compared to the last stage. Also, if you catch pre-cancerous stages earlier, it is the best way. Since every person is different, so your doctor will offer you a clear picture of your prognosis.
Vaginal cancer may spread to the distant regions of your body, like as your lungs, bones, and liver.
It’s not possible to cure this disorder fully, but still, you can lower the risks. The excellent way to reduce the vaginal cancer risk is to prevent the known risk factors and cure the vaginal pre-cancers as soon as possible.
1. Prevent HPV infection
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading factor of vaginal cancer. It occurs mainly in the young ladies and is less frequent in females over the age of thirty. This infection passes from one person to another while the skin on skin contact with the infected region of the body. HPV can spread during sex (*including vaginal, oral and anal sex). It is also possible for the genital infection to spread via hand-to-genital contact. So, think before having sex with an unknown person.
2. Use of Condom
Condoms offer protection against HPV; it can’t provide fill protection as they don’t cover every possible HPV-infected region of your body like as skin on the genital/anal area. But still, the condoms offer little bit protection against HPV. It even protects against STD’s and HIV.
3. HPV Vaccines
They are the vaccines which safeguard against the infection with certain kinds of HPC. You can only use them to prevent disease (vaginal cancers). But they help to treat any existing infection. Take this vaccine before you get exposed to HPV via sex. They are also approved to prevent other cancers like anal and genital warts.
4. Avoid Smoking
Not smoking is another best way to reduce the vaginal cancer risk. Ladies who don’t smoke are also less likely to have any other cancers like that of lungs, throat, bladder, mouth, kidneys, and several other organs.
5. Find and Treat Pre-Cancers
Many squamous cell cancers begin as pre-cancerous changes known as vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN.) it may be present for years before converting into invasive cancer. So a Pap test or HPV test can sometimes help you to find those pre-cancers. If you have noticed, it can be treated and stopped before it begins.