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What Are the Symptoms?

Early on, most vaginal cancers do not cause signs and symptoms. But if there are symptoms, they may include—

  • Vaginal discharge or bleeding that is not normal for you. The bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is, or when it happens, such as bleeding after you have gone through menopause; bleeding between periods; or any other bleeding that is longer or heavier than is normal for you.
  • A change in bathroom habits, such as having blood in the stool or urine; going to the bathroom more often than usual; or feeling constipated.
  • Pain in your pelvis, the area below your stomach and in between your hip bones, especially when you pass urine or have sex.

Many women who have vulvar cancer have signs and symptoms. They may include—

  • Itching, burning, or bleeding on the vulva that does not go away.
  • Changes in the color of the skin of the vulva, so that it looks redder or whiter than is normal for you.
  • Skin changes in the vulva, including what looks like a rash or warts.
  • Sores, lumps, or ulcers on the vulva that do not go away.
  • Pain in your pelvis, especially when you urinate or have sex.

It is important for you to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. If you have vaginal bleeding that is not normal for you, see a doctor right away. Also see a doctor if you have any of the other symptoms for two weeks or longer and they are not normal for you. Symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor.

Table showing the symptoms of cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.  Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is common on all gynecological cancers except vulvar cancer.  Pelvic pain or pressure is common on ovarian, uterine, and vulvar cancers.  Abdominal or back pain and bloating are only common in ovarian cancer.  Changes in bathroom habits is common in ovarian and uterine cancers.  Itching or burning of the vulva and changes in vulva color or skin, such as a rash, sores, or warts, are only found in vulvar cancer.

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