What are the presenting symptoms of Vaginal Cancer / Precancer?
The symptoms are very similar to cervical cancer although it is much less common. Abnormal bleeding or vaginal discharge is the hallmark symptom and should always be reviewed particularly if the patient is postmenopausal.
What is VAIN?
VAIN stands for VAginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia. It refers to a precancer condition identical to that which affects the cervix (CIN or Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia) and which is also caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
How is VAIN picked up?
It is generally picked up by a PAP smear usually taken after patients have had a hysterectomy. This sort of smear is called a vaginal VAULT smear. Many women do not require smears after hysterectomy if they have no prior history of abnormal smears.
What is the treatment VAIN?
Early forms of this may be just monitored. Higher-grade lesions may either be excised with a surgical operation or the use of specialised creams.
What is the treatment of Vaginal cancer?
It is usually treated with a combination of surgery and chemoradiation.
What should I look out for?
Any lump or rash or irregular bleeding you notice that does not resolve promptly should be brought to the attention of your GP.
You should of course always ensure your PAP smears are up to date.