Being diagnosed with vaginal cancer can be terrifying, but rest assured that there are treatment options that can help bring about remission. In addition to following a healthy lifestyle that includes eating whole, fresh foods and exercising regularly, the following medical treatments could help you combat this terrible disease. Continue reading to learn more if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with vaginal cancer.
Treatment Depends Upon the Type of Vaginal Cancer
There are different types of vaginal cancer, as well as different stages of progression for the disease. The treatment that your doctor will recommend will largely depend upon what stage the cancer is at, as well as the specific type of vaginal cancer that you are suffering with. These include vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN), recurrent squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma of the vagina, rhabdomyosarcoma, and vaginal melanoma. Stages range from 0 to IVB.
The primary treatment for patients with vaginal cancer is surgery. You’ll be assigned a surgical oncologist with experience in treating this disease, and the surgery will involve the removal of both the tumor and tissue surrounding it.
There are different types of surgery, so a doctor will determine which one is best for a particular patient. Options include laser surgery, excision, vaginectomy, and radical hysterectomy. Reconstructive surgery, much like a vaginoplasty, can be used after these types of surgery, but just keep in mind that these procedures are best performed by experienced doctors like David Ghozland.
Just like other types of cancer, vaginal cancer may be eradicated using chemotherapy. A patient will receive infusions of one or more chemotherapy drugs depending upon the type of cancer and the stage that it was in when it was diagnosed.
The ultimate goal with this treatment is to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the body so that they don’t cause other tumors to grow. Chemotherapy can be used after surgery or it can be used to slow down the growth of a tumor and shrink it down.
Side effects from chemotherapy are common and will depend upon the type of medicine used and the dosage. They include a higher risk of getting an infection, hair loss, fatigue, a loss of your appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Women may also be unable to get pregnant after receiving chemotherapy, and they may also go through symptoms of premature menopause.
Radiation, like chemotherapy, is typically used when dealing with invasive vaginal cancer. And, like chemotherapy, the side effects will depend upon the amount of radiation that you receive, the type of radiation that is used, and the area that is being treated.
Put simply, radiation therapy will use high-energy x-rays to eliminate cancer cells. This can be used on its own or after you have gone through surgery.
If you’ve been diagnosed with vaginal cancer, it’s important to maintain a strong and positive attitude. As you can see, there are several treatment options available, not limited to those listed above, so that you can get the care you specifically need.