Your guide to understanding all aspects of vaginal cancer
“The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.”
Early detection and diagnosis always increase your chances of receiving successful treatment and beating all forms of cancer – including vaginal cancer. Detecting vaginal cancer early will significantly boost your odds of survival. Hence, it is important to adhere to the recommended screening protocol for your age group so that you and your physician can detect and test any anomalies or changes.
The vagina is the canal extending from the outer part of the female genitals (the vulva), until the opening of the uterus (the cervix). It allows menstrual blood to drain out of your body during your period. The vagina is sometimes referred to as the birth canal as it expands to accommodate the process of childbirth.
Vaginal cancer is a rare variant of gynecological cancers that affects the cells lining the surface of the vagina. While several types of cancer can spread to your vagina from other parts of the body, cancer that begins in your vagina (primary vaginal cancer) is rare.
Vaginal cancer usually develops slowly over time. It begins when healthy cells in the vagina start mutating or changing. Such mutations cause these cells to grow rapidly and prevent cell death. The accumulation of these abnormal cells forms a malignant mass or tumour. Often, the cancer cells invade nearby tissues and may break off from a tumour to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body.
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