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Designed to supplement the medical treatment of cancer patients by giving them tools to cope with the stress of their illness, make informed choices about treatment, and maintain hope.
The Cancer Imaging & Intervention Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging combines leading-edge technology and the expertise of specialty-trained radiologists to provide comprehensive cancer detection and monitoring, plus image-guided treatments for specific types of cancer.Request an Appointment
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The Midlife Women’s Health Center at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together experts from more than 15 specialties to improve, promote and advance healthcare for women at menopause and beyond through research, collaboration and education.
The Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) Center at Massachusetts General Hospital delivers innovative, multidisciplinary care for a full range of gynecologic conditions including endometriosis, fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, ovarian cysts/masses, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence and gynecologic cancers.
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Using cutting edge technology including intensity modulated radiation therapy, proton therapy, intraoperative radiation, and brachytherapy our team of dedicated radiation oncologists treat a wide variety of gynecologic malignancies.
Vaginal Cancer: Diagnosis
If your healthcare provider thinks you might have vaginal cancer, you will need certain exams and tests to be sure. Diagnosing vaginal cancer starts with your healthcare provider asking you questions. He or she will ask you about your health history, your symptoms, risk factors, and family history of disease. Your healthcare provider will also give you a physical exam. This will include a pelvic exam to look at your vagina and feel other organs in the pelvis to check for tumors or lumps.
What tests might I need?
You may have one or more of these tests:
Pelvic exam. This examination of the vagina and pelvis allows your healthcare provider to determine the size and location of the cancer.
Pap test. This is also called a Pap smear. It's done during a pelvic exam. A swab is wiped on the cervix or vagina to pick up cells. The cells are then checked under a microscope. They’re checked for any signs of cancer or precancer, infection, or inflammation.
Biopsy. A biopsy is when small pieces of tissue from the vagina are taken out and looked at with a microscope. The tissue is checked for cancer. A biopsy may be done during a colposcopy. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure that cell changes in the vagina are cancer and what type it is.
Colposcopy. This test uses a lighted magnifying tool called a colposcope to closely examine the cervix and vagina. The colposcope stays outside your body and the healthcare provider looks through it. If abnormal tissue is found, a small piece of it may be removed so it can be checked for cancer cells. This is called a colposcopic biopsy.
Getting your test results
When your healthcare provider has the results of your tests, he or she will contact you with the results. Your provider will talk with you about other tests you may need if vaginal cancer is found. This may include repeating the biopsy or more tests. Make sure you understand the results and what follow-up you need.
The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.
The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.