What is Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma of the Vagina?Clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina is an exceedingly rare subtype of vaginal adenocarcinoma, a cancer that originates in the glandular cells of the vaginal tissue. The term “clear cell” refers to the appearance of the cancer cells when viewed under a microscope—they contain clear, glycogen-rich cytoplasm. This type of cancer has been associated with in-utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen, although it can also occur in women who have not been exposed to DES.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)The exact cause of clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina is not known, but it’s linked to exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the womb.
DiagnosisThe diagnosis of clear cell adenocarcinoma often involves:
- Detailed medical history and physical examination
- Biopsy of suspicious tissues
- Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to identify the size, location, and spread of the tumour
TreatmentThe treatment for clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina typically involves a combination of strategies:
- Surgery: The primary treatment, involves surgical removal of the tumour. Depending on the stage and extent of the disease, removal of additional structures may be necessary.
- Radiation Therapy: This can be used before surgery to shrink the tumour, or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Can be used in combination with surgery and radiation therapy, especially in more advanced cases or if the cancer recurs.