There are five vaginal cancers.

Do you know them? Although cancer is certainly something that nobody wants to think about, it’s incredibly important to KNOW about it, even slightly more knowledge than you have right now could help you or someone that you know.

I myself put my hand up and say that I wasn’t fully aware of all of these, and that my mind tends to just straight away think ‘cervical cancer’ without remembering about the rest, partly through not knowing about it but also I think because cervical gets the most media attention.

So what are the five?

Ovarian Cancer: Abnormal cell division and growth which eventually form a tumour within the ovaries. The symptoms are shared with many more common illnesses, however if you repeatedly experience these symptoms you should perhaps double check with a doctor.

  • Unexplained tiredness

  • Feeling full quickly

  • Needing to wee more

  • Loss of appetite

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

Don’t Panic! These symptoms as mentioned, can be commonly shared with many other illnesses - it may not be cancer, but for anyone seriously concerned please visit a doctor to discuss.

Womb Cancer: Most womb cancers begin in the womb lining and can also go by the name uterine or endometrial cancer (womb lining). Symptoms include:

  • Abnormal bleeding (unusually heavy or between periods)

  • Pink discharge

  • Tiredness

  • Nausea

  • Pain the back, legs or pelvis

  • Loss of appetite

These can be shared symptoms of other gynae conditions so again, any concerns should be discussed with a doctor before panicking.

Vulval Cancer: A rarer cancer, which could be detected from a vulval biopsy. Vulval cancer can start in ANY external area of the vulva (not internal which is the vagina). Symptoms can include:

  • A persistent itch

  • Noticeable lump or lumps

  • Pain or soreness

  • Thickened or different coloured patches on skin

  • Open sores

  • Burning pain

Again, besides the lumps these symptoms are similar to Lichen Sclerosus and Lichen Planus, dermatitis, general eczema etc. but it’s good to be aware and to discuss further with a doctor if concerned.

Vaginal Cancer: More rare, and more likely within older women. This cancer begins in the actual birth canal (vagina).

Worryingly, sometimes you may not display any symptoms at all. But if you do, they would be:

  • Unusual bleeding

  • Unusual discharge

  • Vaginal itch

  • Growths/Lumps

Cervical Cancer: A cancer that affects the cervix (situated at the very top of your vagina - birth canal and just before the womb). This is when abnormal cells are detected in the lining of the cervix. The smear/pap test is the test used to detect these abnormal cells, and is available in the UK from the age of 25 (there is a reason for this - check my other post). Symptoms include:

  • Unusual discharge (increased amounts)

  • Bleeding (after sex, longer than usual)

  • Spotting/bleeding between periods

  • Painful Sex

  • Pain in the pelvis

Help raise awareness by sharing this post and helping us to clue up other women on the symptoms and facts.

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