The vaginal cancers do not often cause symptoms in early stage. Most of the early cancers can be detected by regular gynaecological examination with the help of a PAP smear test. Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that occurs in your vagina — the muscular tube that connects your uterus with your outer genitals. Vaginal cancer most commonly occurs in the cells that line the surface of your vagina, which is sometimes called the birth canal.
Signs and symptoms associated with Vaginal Cancer:
- Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding: Vaginal bleeding during or after menopause may be a symptoms of underlying cancer. This is most common of all symptoms. Also any abnormal bleeding even in pre menopausal state which is different from normal monthly cycle has to be seen with suspicion.
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: This symptom is another common presenting complaint. The discharge can be clear, blood stained or foul smelling in nature.
- Bleeding during or after sexual intercourse: Bleeding during or post intercourse can be a sign of an underlying cancer in vagina.
- Painful intercourse: Pain during sex can be a major sign and symptom of vaginal cancer.
- A lump or growth in vagina: Some patients can have a feeling of presence of growth as a lump in the vagina.
- Itching in the vagina : Vaginal itching which does not go away , despite maintaining hygiene and using pH balance lotions.
- Painful and frequent urination
- Constipation associated with pelvic pain
The last four symptoms usually present in late stage when the cancer have spread beyond the walls of vagina and have involved the other surrounding organs.
As such the cancer of vagina is not so frequent of all cancers in clinical practice but has got a good prognosis in terms of survival if detected early and proper treatment taken.