Vaginal cancer is cancer that attacks the vagina, which is a tube of muscles joining the outer genitals with the uterus, according to Mayo Clinic. In most cases, this condition affects the birth canal, which is a cell lining on the vaginal surface. Vaginal cancer is rare.
Depending on where it starts, the types of vaginal cancer include vaginal squamous cell carcinoma, vaginal melanoma, vaginal adenocarcinoma and vaginal sarcoma, says Mayo Clinic. As the name suggests, vaginal squamous cell carcinoma originates in the squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells lining the vaginal surface. While vaginal melanoma occurs in the melanocytes, vaginal adenocarcinoma develops in the glandular cells of the vagina. As for vaginal sarcoma, it attacks the connective tissues or muscle cells in the vaginal walls.
The signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer may include watery vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during urination and pelvic pain, reports Mayo Clinic. In most cases, these symptoms occur when the cancer is at an advanced stage. It is advisable for an individual to visit a doctors once he begins to experience the signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer.
The treatments for vaginal cancer include surgery to remove tumors, vagina or pelvic organs and radiotherapy, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors recommend a suitable treatment for vaginal cancer depending on factors such as the type and stage of the condition.