Authoritative information and practical advice from the nation's cancer experts about vaginal cancer includes official medical data on signs, symptoms, early detection, diagnostic testing, risk factors and prevention, treatment options, surgery, radiation, drugs, chemotherapy, staging, biology, prognosis, and survival, with a complete glossary of technical medical terms and current references.
Starting with the basics, and advancing to detailed patient-oriented and physician-quality information, this comprehensive in-depth compilation gives empowered patients, families, caregivers, nurses, and physicians the knowledge they need to understand the diagnosis and treatment of vaginal cancer.
Comprehensive data on clinical trials is included - with information on intervention, sponsor, gender, age group, trial phase, number of enrolled patients, funding source, study type, study design, NCT identification number and other IDs, first received date, start date, completion date, primary completion date, last updated date, last verified date, associated acronym, and outcome measures.
Vaginal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the vagina.
The vagina is the canal leading from the cervix (the opening of uterus) to the outside of the body. At birth, a baby passes out of the body through the vagina (also called the birth canal). The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium. Vaginal cancer is not common. When found in early stages, it can often be cured. There are two main types of vaginal cancer:
* Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that forms in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells lining the vagina. Squamous cell vaginal cancer spreads slowly and usually stays near the vagina, but may spread to the lungs and liver. This is the most common type of vaginal cancer. It is found most often in women aged 60 or older.
* Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells in the lining of the vagina make and release fluids such as mucus. Adenocarcinoma is more likely than squamous cell cancer to spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. It is found most often in women aged 30 or younger.
Age and exposure to the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) before birth affect a woman's risk of developing vaginal cancer. Risk factors for vaginal cancer include the following:
* Being aged 60 or older.
* Being exposed to DES while in the mother's womb. In the 1950s, the drug DES was given to some pregnant women to prevent miscarriage (premature birth of a fetus that cannot survive). Women who were exposed to DES before birth have an increased risk of developing vaginal cancer. Some of these women develop a rare form of cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma.
* Having human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.
* Having a history of abnormal cells in the cervix or cervical cancer.
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