ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of vaginal cancer?

Question

What are the symptoms of vaginal cancer?

I have a lump in my vagina that I'm extremely worried about because it's changing in size, shape and color. What are the symptoms of vaginal cancer? I know I should probably take this to a doctor, but I haven't done that just yet.

Answer

Vaginal cancer is a relatively rare, but certainly possible cancer. It is a serious condition which requires treatment. That being said, there are other less ominous causes of vaginal changes that could be causing this. I would strongly recommend that you see your primary care doctor to have this evaluated. Vaginal cancer is often asymptomatic, meaning that is causes not symptoms. It is most often found on a routine gynecological exam by your doctor. It can cause symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, vaginal pain, pain with intercourse or insertion of a tampon, or sometimes pain with urination. Keep in mind vaginal cancer is cancer of the internal vaginal canal -- this is not seen on the skin but in the vagina itself. Cancer of the skin just outside the vagina is known as vulvar cancer. Keep in mind that regular skin cancer (like melanoma) can also occur in the groin area and is something to consider as opposed to cancer of the vagina or vulva. There are many other possibilities. Infections, some sexually transmitted and some not, can cause lumps in this region. In addition, abrasions and ulcerations can also occur. I would strongly recommend you see your primary care doctor or OB/GYN. He or she can do a biopsy of the lesion and thereby determine its exact cause.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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