What is Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina?
Clear cell carcinoma of the vagina is a remarkably rare form of cancer, typically associated with in-utero exposure to the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was commonly prescribed to prevent miscarriages during the mid-20th century. This cancer derives its name from the clear, glycogen-rich cells that can be seen when viewed under a microscope. Although treatment advancements have improved outcomes, the rarity of this condition means that a comprehensive understanding of its natural history, optimal treatment strategies, and long-term prognosis remains somewhat limited.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The primary risk factor for vaginal clear cell carcinoma is in-utero exposure to DES. However, clear cell carcinoma can occur even without DES exposure, though this is exceedingly rare. Cancer arises when genetic mutations occur within cells, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and the formation of a tumour.
Diagnosis of clear cell carcinoma often involves:
- Detailed medical history and physical examination
- Biopsy of suspicious tissues
- Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to assess the size, location, and spread of the tumour
The treatment for clear cell carcinoma of the vagina generally involves a multimodal approach:
Surgery: Surgery to remove the tumour is typically the first line of treatment. In more advanced cases, additional structures may need to be removed.
Radiation Therapy: Used pre-surgery to shrink larger tumours, or post-surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: Sometimes used in combination with surgery and radiation therapy, particularly in more advanced cases or if the cancer recurs.
What Support can we Give for Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina?
Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: