While not your standard topic for dinner time conversation, gynecological health is an important issue among women that is often brushed under the carpet and forgotten about – until it’s too late.
Vaginal cancer is a very rare disease – just 250 cases are diagnosed in the UK each year – and is most commonly diagnosed in women over 60 years of age. Vaginal cancer occurs when the cells in the lining of the vagina change – often these changes are not enough to make the cells cancerous, however if left untreated they could be harmful.
What are the symptoms?
- Bleeding when you are not having a period or bleeding after the menopause- this is the most common symptom. You may also have bleeding after sex
- Vaginal discharge that smells or is blood stained – about 3 out of 10 women (30%) have this symptom
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- A lump or growth in the vagina that you or your doctor can feel – up to 1 in 10 women (10%) have this
- A vaginal itch that won’t go away
- As many as 20 per cent of women diagnosed with vaginal cancer have no symptoms at all and many of the above symptoms are far more likely to be due to other conditions, such as infections