The most common form of disease which women throughout the world are affected by is vaginal cancer. First of all, what is vaginal cancer? Let us try to understand!
This is a form of disease where cancerous cells develop in the vagina, a canal leading from the cervix to the outside of the body.
Now, let us switch over to the common causes that lead to this highly dangerous disease. Knowing about the causes will go a long way in helping us to avert this disease. Meanwhile, also take a note of the other vaginal problems that women need to be aware of.
Today in this article we have listed few of the major causes of vaginal cancer.
#1. Excess Alcohol:
Alcohol consumption is though not a well-established fact that it increases the risk of vaginal cancer, a study indicates that women who do not consume alcohol are less prone to this disease. So, reducing the intake of alcohol is always a nice option to keep the vaginal cancer risk at bay.
Smoking is also a serious risk factor for this disease. Studies indicate that women who smoke are most viable to contract vaginal cancer.
#3. Cervical Cancer:
Women having cervical cancer are most likely to get vaginal cancer as well. The reason for this is the common risk factors being the same amongst the two diseases such as drinking and smoking.
#4. Vaginal Adenosis:
Let us first know as to what is adenosis. Instead of the flat cells called the squamous cells which usually line the vaginal wall, some areas may be lined by what are called the glandular cells, which usually line the body of the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
The part of the vaginal linings made up of the glandular cells instead of the squamous cells is known as adenosis. Studies indicate that vaginal adenosis increases the risk of developing cancerous cells in the vagina.
#5. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV):
These viruses get its name from the fact that they cause a type of growth called warts whose medical term is papilloma. This is not cancerous growth but may be the root cause of vaginal cancer.
Cancer due to HPV can be classified into two types namely, low-risk cancer-causing type and high-risk cancer-causing type. The first type includes HPV6 and HPV11 viruses and the second type includes HPV16, HPV18, HPV31 and others.
Direct skin contacts and sexual intercourse can lead to the growth of cancerous cells. Vaccines such as Gardasil and Cervarix, approved by the FDA in the USA can be put to treat HPV infection.
#6. Vaginal Irritation:
Though vaginal irritation is rarely linked to cancerous growth in the vagina, it is good to know some facts. Some women have their uterus sagging into the vagina.
This condition is called ‘uterine prolapse' and can be treated by having a device to keep the uterus in its place called the pessary. Sometimes, the chronic irritation in the vaginal area in the women having the pessary can lead to vaginal cancer.
#7. Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV):
There is a high chance of HIV affected patients getting affected by cervical cancer, which in turn may lead to cancerous growth in the vagina.
Therefore, the above-listed factors increase the risk of vaginal cancer though it can be prevented. We have listed some of the preventive measures below which are important to be noted:
- Smoking should be completely avoided to decrease the risk of this disease.
- Get vaccinated to prevent the infection of HPV.
- Consult a physician and get treated for pre-cancerous conditions in the vaginal area.
- Maintain a proper hygiene in the vaginal area so as to be infection free.
- Finally, go in for regular check-ups to detect any case of such conditions at an early stage.