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Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that occurs in the vagina. There are two main types of vaginal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Other less common types of vaginal cancer are vaginal melanoma and vaginal sarcoma.

While several types of cancers can spread to the vagina from surrounding areas, cancer that begins in the vagina is extremely rare. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer below.

The Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Cancer are as follows:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding before your first period
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • A watery discharge from the vagina
  • A lump or mass in the vagina
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination
  • Constipation

In its early stages, there are often no signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer. Sometimes the cancer is found during a routine gynecological examination.

Vaginal cancer occurs most often in women over the age of sixty, though it can occur in young women, and even in infants and children.

A specific form of vaginal cancer occurs in women that have been exposed to a prescription drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) while their mothers were pregnant. The drug was used in the 1950’s to prevent miscarriage. Woemn who suspect a history of DES should have a more comprehensive gynecological exam on a regular basis because a normal vaginal exam does not closely examine all the areas of the vagina.

Other risk factors for vaginal cancer include multiple sexual partners, early age of first intercourse, HIV infection and smoking.

Diagnosis of Vaginal Cancer

If a diagnosis of vaginal cancer is suspected, a doctor may conduct a colposcopy, which examines the walls of the vagina with a lighted microscope to detect abnormalities. If any suspicious tissue is found, a biopsy may be done to test for cancer cells.

Books for Women With Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Cancer

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Vaginal Cancer: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
Icon Health Publications
21st Century Complete Medical Guide to Vaginal Cancer and Vulvar Cancer – Authoritative Government Documents and Clinical References for Patients and … on Diagnosis and Treatment Options
PM Medical Health News

2009 Conquering Cancer – The Empowered Patient’s Complete Reference to Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer – Diagnosis, Treatment Options, Prognosis (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health News
Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer Toolkit – Comprehensive Medical Encyclopedia with Treatment Options, Clinical Data, and Practical Information (Two CD-ROM Set)
U.S. Government

Vaginal Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Information about vaginal cancer treatment, clinical trials, research, and other topics from the National Cancer Institute.

  • Medicine Net . com

Find out about vaginal cancer causes, risk factors, symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment (surgery, chemotherapy) and types (adenocarcinoma, squamous carcinoma).

  • Mama’s Health

Vaginal cancer: symptoms, treatment, causes, risk factors, prevention, complications, what to expect, statistics, questions to ask, clinical trials.

  • Cancer Answers . com

Provides the latest information on the most effective traditional and alternative vaginal cancer treatments available.

  • About . com

Vaginal cancer often doesn’t present any symptoms until the disease has progressed. This article looks into symptoms of the disease and what a woman needs to know.

  • MacMillan Cancer Center

Information about vaginal cancer, causes, diagnosis, symptoms and treatment.

  • Better Medicine

Vaginal Cancer Information Including Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Causes, Videos, Forums, and local community support.

  • Cancer Compass

Join our vaginal cancer forum at to find resources and helpful information about a variety of relevant issues, from treatment methods to cancer research.,0,119,38,32.htm

  • Daily Strength

Discuss Vaginal Cancer with others who understand what you’re going through.

Medical Resources

  • Web MD

General information about vaginal cancer.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, risk factors of cancer of the vagina.