Vaginal cancer treatment
When malignant cells form a tumour in the vagina, it is called vaginal cancer. A doctor can detect signs of an early lump during a routine check-up. HPV infection and age increase the probability of the disease. Vaginal cancer is usually curable. In addition to surgery, doctors use chemotherapy and local radiation therapy (brachytherapy). After the operation, a vaginal reconstruction can be performed.
Vaginal cancer means the growth of malignant cells in the vagina. The tumour is preceded by a precancerous condition - vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia when abnormal cells appear in the inner lining of the vagina. Cancer in the vagina may be primary if the tumour grows into the vagina. The process that spreads from another location (cancer of the uterus, cervix, vulva, and intestines) is called secondary vaginal cancer.
About 20% of women with vaginal cancer have no disease symptoms. However, if the condition is diagnosed later, the following symptoms are typical: abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause, vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, and pelvic pain. With progressive cancer, the following symptoms are added: pain in the back or legs, swelling in the legs, and constipation.
Doctors may treat vaginal cancer using a single (primary method), but a combined treatment approach is usually more common. It depends on the lump's size and its development stage. As a rule, surgical removal is the only correct treatment method for small tumours. The operation might be carried out not only by usual cuts but with excisional, thermal, cryo and laser techniques. Interstitial and internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used alone, combined with chemotherapy or after surgery.
Doctors can often cure the disease entirely in the earliest stages before cancer spreads beyond the vagina. Such a stage will call cancer in situ, and patients can be considered cancer-free in cush cases. The 5-year survivorship in localized scenarios is 67%. However, if the process passes to the surrounding tissues and organs, the 5-year survival rate is reduced to 55%. If cancer in the vagina metastasizes to other body parts, the rate will drop to 21%.
Where can I get Vaginal cancer treatment?
What are the best clinics for Vaginal cancer treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Vaginal cancer?
Prof. Dr. med Harald-Robert Bruch, MSc, PhD from Oncological and Haematological Praxis Clinic Bonn
Prof. Dr. med. Florian Bassermann from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Marion Kiechle from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Eber from M1 Private Clinic Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Sven Mahner from University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians Munich