Primary vaginal cancer is rare and it occupies about 1% in malignant tumors of female reproductive organs. The most common types are squamous cell carcinoma and chorionepithelioma, while other types like adenocarcinoma, sarcoma and malignant melanoma are much rarer, with only few cases found in medical practice. Because secondary cancer is common in vagina, so before diagnose a primary cancer the possibility of secondary vaginal cancer should be considered and eliminated.
Vaginal cancer is uncommon cancer but it can be spread from other primary cancers or metastasizes to vagina. It usually occurs at the lower 1/3 posterior vaginal wall. So far, it is still difficult to use radiotherapy to treat vaginal cancer because it is hard to insert radium tube into the tumors outside the middle point of the vagina. Moreover, the bladder and rectum which are close to the vaginal may also be affected and cause complications, so the curative rate of radiotherapy is relatively low.
Symptoms of Vagina Cancer
Common symptoms of vaginal cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, contact bleeding after sexual intercourse or menopause, increased leucorrhea, watery excretion, and discharge mixed with blood and foul smell. As it worsens, patient may feel low back pain or abdominal pain. When tumor compresses the bladder and urethra, urgent micturition, frequent urination, hematuria (blood in urine) can be caused; when compressing rectum, there may be difficulty in defecation and blood in the stool. In severe cases, patients may develop vesico-vaginal fistula or rectovaginal fistula. Patients in advanced stage may have renal dysfunction, anemia and other complications. For instance, if it spread to lungs it may manifested as coughing, hemoptysis, but if it spread to superficial lymph nodes, then there will appear palpable swollen lymph nodes. Vaginal local lesions are mostly manifested as papillary or cauliflower type, next are ulcerous type and infiltrating type.