If you’ve noticed some changes in or around your vagina, you may be concerned about whether you have vaginal cancer. In many instances, including when vaginal cancer is in its early stages and hasn’t spread beyond the lining of the vagina, this type of malignancy doesn’t produce any noticeable symptoms. If vaginal cancer has spread to nearby tissue, however, it can cause:
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding after intercourse or at other times
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- A palpable lump within the vagina
If vaginal cancer has reached a more advanced stage and spread to other areas of the body, it might also cause:
- Pain during urination
- Chronic constipation
- Pain within the back, lower abdomen or pelvis
- Swelling within the legs
Other potential causes of vaginal symptoms
It’s important to keep in mind that many vaginal cancer symptoms can also be caused by another, less serious condition. For instance, some vaginal cancer symptoms can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD), a urinary tract infection (UTI), a yeast infection or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Abnormal vaginal discharge, specifically, could even be caused by something as simple as using birth control pills or antibiotics.
No matter what you believe is causing your symptoms, it’s important to see a physician as soon as possible because only a trained medical professional can accurately diagnose your condition. A physician can determine the source of your symptoms and recommend a course of treatment that’s suited to your specific needs.
Vaginal cancer diagnosis and treatment at Moffitt
You can confidently turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for the diagnosis and treatment of vaginal cancer. The specialists in our gynecological clinic will ask you about your symptoms and your personal and family medical history, perform a pelvic examination and conduct any necessary diagnostic tests. From there, we’ll walk you through our findings and explain your next steps.