There is no such thing as routine vaginal cancer. Every patient’s vaginal cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.
At the OSUCCC – James, our vaginal cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on vaginal cancer and who reach across medical disciplines (gynecologic oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.
And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.
Facts About Vaginal Cancer
Several organs are involved in a woman’s reproductive system. The vagina — also called the birth canal — has several layers of cells and tissues, including muscles, nerves and glands.
Vaginal cancer is rare. Only about 3,100 new cases of vaginal cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.
There are two major types of vaginal cancer:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cells form the lining, or epithelium, of the vagina. Squamous cell carcinoma usually spreads slowly and remains in or near the vagina. It is the most frequently occurring of the two types of vaginal cancer.
This type of vaginal cancer begins in the cells that form glands in the lining of the vagina, which also are called secretory cells. Adenocarcinoma occurs less frequently than squamous cell carcinoma, but is more likely to spread to other organs.
In rare cases, cancer may spread to the vagina from other areas of the body, such as the skin (melanoma) or soft tissue.
Vaginal Cancer Symptoms
Vaginal cancer often does not cause early symptoms and may be found during a regular pelvic exam and Pap test. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding or discharge not related to menstrual periods
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the pelvic area
- A lump in the vagina
- Pain when urinating
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have vaginal cancer. In fact, symptoms may be caused by conditions other than vaginal cancer. But if you have symptoms, you should discuss them with your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.
If you have received a vaginal cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a vaginal cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.