Type of Cancer
As with most of types of cancer, in genital cancers too, the causative factors are unknown. The genital tract is the primary site of the growth in over 14 percent of the cases. It is generally accepted that an early cancer is more amenable to cure than one, which has been present for some time. Therefore it is important to pay attention to the first suspicious symptoms or signs presented by the patient, irregular uterine bleeding or discharge occurring after the age of 35 years, for example.
Carcinoma of cervix - Cervical Cancer
Types and Causes
Depending on the types of cells involved, there are two types of the carcinoma of the cervix. The disease can be divided into 4 grades depending upon the percentage of malignant cells. In the first grade carcinoma, 25% or more cells may be malignant and in the fourth grade carcinoma, almost all the cells are cancerous.
Depending upon the types of the cells involved, there are two types of the carcinoma of the cervix of the uterus. The disease can be divided into 4 categories depending upon the percentage of cells that have turned malignant. Out of these, grade I has 25% or more malignant cells and grade IV has almost all the cells having turned cancerous. The cancer can spread directly into other surrounding organs such as urinary bladder, rectum etc., or it may spread to the distant organs (metastasis) through lymph glands.
Signs and Symptoms
The main signs are inter menstrual bleeding (bleeding between periods), or bleeding after sexual intercourse, along with watery discharge per vagina, which becomes foul smelling and blood stained in the later stages. On examination, hyper congested (dense) cauliflower like mass is visible through vagina.
Types and Causes
Endometrial cancer is the less dangerous malignancy of the female genital tract, because it remains confined in the uterine cavity and does no spread very fast. The important causes are nulliparity (woman who has not given birth to any child), constant uterine disorders such as polyp, fibroids, and ovarian diseases, late menopause and early menarche.
Signs and Symptoms
The main signs are irregular menstrual bleeding in early fifth or late fourth decade of life, mostly after menopause, often associated with foul smelling white discharge. General signs such as severe weight loss, and weakness might be present in advanced cases.
It only accounts for 4 % of all cancers in women. Patients with ovarian cancer typically come with rather vague, nonspecific symptoms of short duration. Abdominal symptoms, pain or swelling that may be described as fullness or bloating of abdomen due to collection of fluid in the abdomen, swelling of the feet, and loss of appetite are the most frequently mentioned complaints. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.
The cause of breast cancer is still ambiguous. Nevertheless, certain women do seem to be at a higher risk of developing the disease. Genetic reasons form a very small percentage of breast cancer cases. Women with no children or those who have had children late in life, women who have had an early menarche or late menopause, also seem to be at a slightly higher risk.
Types of Breast Cancer
• Fibroadenoma The breast is tender on examination and has an ill-defined nodularity. Histological examination shows duct and gland tissues are increased in amount. In all women aged 30 years and more, the breasts should be palpated routinely to exclude tumor formation. Co relation of breast cancer to Arbuda.
• Duct Papilloma Cyst situated beneath the areola, associated with discharge of bright red blood or less often a dark blood stained discharge from the nipple.
• Papillary Cyst adenoma Due to excessive papillomatosis the cyst feel solid, blood stained discharge from the nipple.
• Neurofibroma Slightly soft, painful tumor.
• Fibroadenoma Smooth, hard, freely mobile tumor.
• Duct Carcinoma Clinical features similar to duct Papilloma. A sector shaped area of induration behind the areola or nipple.
• Intracystic Papilliferous Carcinoma Malignant tumor, a cauliflower like growth, blood stained discharge from nipple.
• Atrophic Scirrhous Carcinoma Features like Scirrhous carcinoma, but very slow growing, comparatively small in size.
Carcinoma of vulva (External genital organs)
This is found mainly in the age group of 40-50 years. The causative factor is unknown. The main clinical features are non-healing ulcers of the vulva, with severe itching, watery and foul smelling discharge, often associated with organo-metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity etc. The ulcers turn into the mass on long standing. In the initial stages, the symptoms are mistaken for the routine vaginal infection and neglected.
When to Suspect
Any long standing, foul smelling vaginal discharge, accompanied by irregular bleeding, mainly in the age group of 45-55 years, is suspected as cancer unless proved otherwise.
As the cause of cancers is mostly unknown, the main precautionary measures also remain limited. These are
• Treating any vaginal infection promptly.
• Proper and guided use of artificial hormonal therapy.
• Maintenance of vaginal hygiene. barberry extract, etc., are to be inserted into vagina.