Symptoms of vaginal cancer
Vaginal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour grows and causes changes in the body. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as vaginal cancer.
Vaginal cancer may be found during a routine Pap test or pelvic exam.
The signs or symptoms of vaginal cancer include:
- bleeding from the vagina that isn’t normal (bleeding after sex, after menopause or between menstrual periods)
- vaginal discharge that smells foul or has blood in it
- painful sexual intercourse
- a lump in the vagina that can be felt
- constant pain in the pelvis, back, legs and perineum (area between vagina and anus)
- change in bladder habits including pain, burning or trouble urinating, the need to urinate often, blood in the urine and urgent need to urinate
- change in bowel habits including blood in the stool, constipation and painful bowel movements
- swelling in the legs or groin
American Cancer Society. Vaginal Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003146-pdf.pdf.
Bardawil T. Vaginal Cancer. 2015: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/269188-overview.
Levine DA, Dizon DS, Yashar CM, Barakat RR, Berchuch A, Markman M, Randall ME. Handbook for Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2015.
Oleszewski K . Vulvar and vaginal cancer. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2011: 69: pp. 1719-1739.