How to Identify Carcinoma of Vagina?
Q: Hi Doctor, can any small tumor like mass in a vagina be cancerous?
-By Mary Mwikali
Cancers in the vaginal area are very rare. It’s more likely for the lesion to be a benign growth like a papule or cyst.
You may read more about such vaginal growths here.
However, since you are concerned about tumors, let us inform you about cancerous growths in the vagina.
Cancerous Growths in the Vaginal Area
A primary cancerous growth in the vagina is very rare. However, vagina can have secondaries from cervical or uterine cancers.
That is, the primary cancer may be in the cervix or uterus. The vaginal area may have a growth secondary to it.
If the growth is cancerous, it will express itself by any of the following symptoms:
- It may grow in size.
- Tumors are usually hard, painless growths.
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Painless bleeding or discharge from vagina
- A feeling of fullness or heaviness in the groin
- Loss of weight
- Unexplained emotional instability
- Swelling (lymph node) in the groin or anywhere else in the body
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to get it examined by a doctor. Even otherwise, a screening for genital carcinomas (including cervical, uterine, vaginal) is recommended for women in every 3 years.
Diagnosing the Tumor
- A careful physical exam is required.
- Your doctor may order a pap smear and biopsy from the growth.
- A colposcopy may also be done if required.
Primary vaginal cancers, though rare, occur more commonly in older population. The variety is primarily squamous cell carcinoma. This arises from the mucosal skin lining the vagina.
Other variety is adenocarcinoma, which is found in young females.
We would suggest you to get the growth examined to be on safe side. It is better to know what it is and get it treated.