3 Types Of Vaginal Cancer, Their Risks and Causes

November 12, 2012

3 Types Of Vaginal Cancer, Their Risks and Causes

Vaginal cancer is an uncommon disease that affects the vagina and, when diagnosed at the start, can be cured. Two types of vaginal cancer are: Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Do you know what vaginal cancer? It’s a disease where cancer cells, which are malignant, develop in the vaginal region. What’s the vagina? It’s the canal that leads from the cervix (uterus opening) to the outside of a woman’s body. And, when a woman is giving birth, her baby is most likely going to come from this region, which is why it’s also known as the birth canal.

Believe it or not, vaginal cancer isn’t very common. And, when it’s diagnosed in the early stages, it can be cured. There are two key kinds of vaginal cancer:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma

  • Adenocarcinoma

Vaginal Cancer: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This kind of cancer that forms in squamous cells, which are flat, thin cells that line the vagina. It usually spreads slowly and stays close to the vagina but can spread to the liver and lungs. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this kind of vaginal cancer is the most common and generally found in older women, 60 years of age and older.

Vaginal Cancer: Adenocarcinoma

This type of vaginal cancer starts in the secretory (or glandular) cells. These cells are located in the vagina lining and release various fluids like mucus. This kind of vaginal cancer is much more likely to spread to the lymph nodes and lungs than the squamous cell cancer. It’s typically found in women who are 30 years of age or younger.

There is also the rarer form of vaginal cancer known as clear cell adenocarcinoma.

What Are The Risks and Causes For Vaginal Cancer

  • Age – 60 years of age or older

  • Exposure to DES drug before birth – If a woman, who gave birth in the 1950s, was given DES to stop them from miscarrying. Any female child exposed to DES could develop vaginal cancer.

  • Human papilloma virus infection

  • History of abnormal cells in cervix

  • Cervical cancer

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