Vaginal and vulvar cancer occur when abnormal cells grow out of control in the vagina or the vulva. The vagina, also called the birth canal, is the tube that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. The vulva includes the lips of the vagina, the sensitive tissue between those lips called the clitoris, and the opening of the vagina.
Cancer of the vagina or vulva is often curable when it is found early. Treatment may include surgery to remove part or all of the vulva or vagina. It may also include radiation, which uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells, or chemotherapy, which uses medicines.
Being treated for cancer can weaken your body, and you may feel very tired. Home treatment and certain medicines can relieve some of your symptoms and help you feel better.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology
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