If you ignore the symptoms and let time pass, this type of cancer spreads to other vital organs.
The vagina extends from the vulva (outer part of the vagina) to the cervix. This is one of the most important organs of the female reproductive system. It is the channel through which menstrual flow is eliminated, and it is also part of the birth canal (thanks to its elasticity).
Sperm are deposited through the vagina, where the first selection is made before continuing upward toward the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Although vaginal cancer is not one of the most common cancers, it is one of those that is detected late because its symptoms are mistaken for an “abnormal” or “irregular” period.
It is estimated that around 5,000 women will be diagnosed with vaginal cancer, and almost 2,000 of them will die from this type of cancer.
Two types of vaginal cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma
It is the most common type of vaginal cancer and forms in the thin cells that cover the inside of the vagina, forming squamous cells. The biggest risk is that it spreads to the lungs, liver, and bones.
This cancer begins in secretory cells, the same cells that make vaginal mucus on the walls of the vagina. This type of cancer has an increased risk of spreading to the lungs and lymph nodes.
According to what has been published by WebMD, the risk factors for vaginal cancer are the following:
Be over 60 years old.
Exposure to the drug DES (Diethylstilbestrol) while in the mother’s womb. This medicine has been recommended to pregnant mothers to avoid miscarriage or spontaneous loss of a pregnancy.
Infections due to the Human Papillomavirus.
Family or personal history of the presence of abnormal cells in the uterus.
Heavy vaginal bleeding.
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Discomfort or pain during intimate relationships.
Appearance of a lump in the vaginal area.
In more advanced stages, symptoms may worsen and the person has painful urination, constipation, and ongoing pelvic pain.
Vaginal bleeding as a warning sign (an easy way to mistake the disease for a period)
After an intimate relationship.
During the period. It is more abundant and lasts more days.
In the middle of one period to another.
The difference between a normal period and vaginal bleeding lies in:
The duration in a vaginal bleeding days is extended to 6 or 7.
The amount of bleeding is significantly more abundant.
Bleeding occurs outside of the menstrual cycle.
Menstruation is a woman’s monthly bleeding, and it is different from vaginal bleeding
The menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle in women has a period of 28 days, although in some women it can be extended to 35 days or shortened to just 21 days. Although for most menstruating people, the cycle is reduced to 3-5 days of bleeding, it actually consists of three stages:
the first three days of the cycle are the bleeding itself.
– Proliferative phase
from day 4 to day 14 ovulation begins.
– Secretory phase
that occurs during the remaining 14 days and that it is the only one of the three stages that lasts exactly the same time in all women, and that if they do not conceive, menstrual bleeding occurs, thus renewing the cycle.
Being able to recognize the difference between menstruation and vaginal cancer symptoms is important, in order to seek a medical examination as soon as an abnormality is detected.
The doctor will recommend the appropriate studies, Pap smears and a blood test to check for the presence of abnormal cells.
You should not wait to present symptoms to go to the specialist, so the use of preventive medicine, offered by the community and community health organizations, is recommended.
You can also periodically go for a Pap smear or any other test that the doctor recommends. Find out within the community, the health or assistance centers that exist and the programs to help women. Prevention is always better than cure.
In Hermosillo, Sonora, the Municipal President, Maloro Acosta has created a program called ” Doctor in your neighborhood “, carrying out preventive medicine work for people and women, thus reaching every corner of his municipality.