Malignant vaginal tumor (adenocarcinoma) a few cm below cervix. The cancer got into some things next to it: one lymph node, and the pelvic bone and in my left hip joint. Therefore has been designated 'Stage IVb'.

Squamous cell (like skin cells) vaginal carcinoma is a rare gynecological cancer, and cases of adenocarcinoma (glandular cells) represent a very small percentage of those. There is also usually "a strong association with persistent human papillomavirus [HPV] infection" [NIH], which I do not have. One oncologist, Dr. Patel, estimated that there are about 10 occurrences in the US per year of this type of cancer.*

The tumor is on the upper front wall (distal, anterior), about 2" wide (4cm x 5cm), below the cervix, pressing against the urethra. Dr. Littell said people think tumors are all round, but they come in all different shapes. This one is more like a pancake.

Symptoms: vaginal bleeding (nearly every day since Oct 3), fatigue, frequent urination (probably due to urethra being partly blocked), and occasional hip joint/pelvic bone pain. Due to the latter I can't sit in meditation posture on the floor, nor can I ride a bicycle anymore without pain in my pelvic bone. I sleep about 10 hours per night and sometimes also during the day. [as of early January my energy level has much improved.] Sitting is getting more difficult, especially on hard chairs.

Update Feb 26 - all the above symptoms have stopped, except I have not tried to ride a bicycle so don't know about that.

Update June 2 - All the pelvic cancer, including in the bones, is gone. Now it's tumors in the lungs I will be dealing with...

* Compared, for example, with 14,000 cases each of uterine and cervical cancer, and 200,000 cases of breast cancer.

[from cancer.gov] The following stages are used for vaginal cancer:

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in tissue lining the inside of the vagina. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I

In stage I, cancer has formed and is found in the vagina only.

Stage II

In stage II, cancer has spread from the vagina to the tissue around the vagina.

Stage III

In stage III, cancer has spread from the vagina to the lymph nodes in the pelvis or groin, or to the pelvis, or both.

Stage IV

Stage IV is divided into stage IVA and stage IVB:
  • Stage IVA: Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis or groin and has spread to one or both of the following areas: The lining of the bladder or rectum. Beyond the pelvis.
  • Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to parts of the body that are not near the vagina, such as the lungs. Cancer may also have spread to the lymph nodes.

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