Vaginal Cancer

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Vaginal cancer is a type of cancer that tends to be very rare.  In a one year period, there are only about 300 cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed in the UK. Vaginal cancer can actually be classified into two different types of cancer.  The first type of vaginal cancer is primary vaginal cancer in which  the cancer started in the vagina itself, and the second type of vaginal cancer is called secondary vaginal cancer, in which the cancer started somewhere other than the vagina and has spread there.

Primary vaginal cancer can further be broken down into two different types of cancer, Squamous cell cancer and Adenocarcinoma cancer.  The form of vaginal cancer called Squamous cell cancer is the most common and is primarily found in the upper part of the vagina and affects women between the ages of 50 and 70.  Adenocarcinoma is a type of vaginal cancer that is much rarer, but usually affects women under 20.

Secondary vaginal cancer is more prevalent then primary vaginal cancer, and is usually found in the neck of the womb near the cervix or near by organs like the bowel or bladder.

The exact cause of vaginal cancer has not been found, however there is research going on to try and isolate the causes.  Some people are at a high risk of developing vaginal cancer than others.  For example, women who have had genital warts cause by human papilloma virus have a slightly larger chance of developing vaginal cancer. Also, a hormone drug abbreviated as DES has been shown to cause the adenocarcinoma form of vaginal cancer.  This hormone drug has also been shown to increase the risk of adenocarcinoma vaginal cancer in the children of women who have taken the drug.  Therefore, if is extremely important to stop the use of DES if pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.

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The American Cancer Society was formed in 1913 by a team of 15 doctors and has grown, evolved, and helped countless people that have been diagnosed with cancer to the society we know today.  The American Cancer Society is the place that you should go to for any and all information on cancer.  They have a call center – the National Cancer Information Center - that is...

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