Risk Factors/Signs and Symptoms

Research is increasing regarding what we know about vaginal cancer. Scientists are learning more about its causes. Following are common risk factors for the disease:

Age and exposure to the drug DES (Diethylstilbestrol) before birth affect a woman’s risk of developing vaginal cancer.

Additional risk factors for vaginal cancer include the following:

Age - Being aged 60 or older.

Human Papilloma Virus - Being infected with HPV

Cervical Issues - Having a history of abnormal cells in the cervix or cervical cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Vaginal cancer often does not cause early symptoms and may be found during a routine Pap Test. When symptoms occur they may be caused by vaginal cancer or by other conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

Pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding

Bleeding or discharge not related to menstrual periods

Pain during sexual intercourse

Pain in the pelvic area

A lump in the vagina

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