HysterSisters Hysterectomy Support and Information
Advertising Info HysterSisters Hysterectomy Support Tutorial

Go Back   Hysterectomy HysterSisters > GYN Cancer Articles

HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy


Vaginal Cancer Fact Sheet

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

Vaginal Cancer Fact SheetVaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the vagina. This form of cancer is very rare, but there are several types of vaginal cancer:
  • Vaginal squamous cell carcinoma: squamous cells line the surface of the vagina. Cellular changes over a period of years could become a cancerous issue. This type of cancer normally exists near the cervix. About 70% of vaginal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Vaginal adenocarcinoma: this type of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma and usually develops in women over 50. This cancer begins in the gland cells and comprise about 15% of vaginal cancer cases.
  • Vaginal melanoma: vaginal cancers that develop in the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) are known as melanomas. These usually develop in the lower or outer portion of the vagina. Only about 9% of cases are melanomas.
  • Vaginal sarcoma: cancer beginning in the connective tissue, muscle, or bone is known as sarcoma. This can develop deep in the vaginal wall. With only up to 4% of vaginal cancer cases in this category, it is the rarest form of vaginal cancer.

Risk Factors and Prevention
Most cases of vaginal cancer occur in women over 60. Less than 15% of women under 40 will be diagnosed with this type of cancer. Daughters of women who used DES (diethylstilbestrol), the drug given during the 1950s to prevent miscarriages, may have a slightly higher risk of vaginal cancer. Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) can also increase the risk of vaginal cancer. Other risk factors include having cervical cancer or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Use of alcohol and cigarettes may also increase the risk of vaginal cancer. Preventive steps can include limiting sexual partners, being vaccinated for HPV, limiting alcohol intake, stopping smoking, and undergoing regular pelvic exams.

In it earliest stages, vaginal cancer may not exhibit symptoms. However, it could be detected during a routine Pap test or pelvic exam. As the cancer develops, women may experience bleeding or discharge, pain with intercourse, pelvic pain, and/or a vaginal lump. Bleeding after menopause, painful urination, and constipation may also be symptoms.

Though this type of cancer is rare, it has a high cure rate when diagnosed early. Unfortunately, early stages of this cancer may be asymptomatic. Vaginal cancer that has spread outside the vagina can be difficult to treat.

Early stage vaginal cancer limited to the surface of the vagina may be excised. Laser surgery or topical therapy may also be options at this stage. For more invasive cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or invasive surgery may be necessary. Later stages may require not only the removal of the vagina, but also the removal of other pelvic organs.

Information complied by staff of HysterSisters.com using data from the Mayo Clinic, NIH, American Cancer Society, and WebMD websites. This content was written by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

06-11-2013 - 05:28 PM


Do you have a question?

If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!

HysterSisters Free Hysterectomy Booklet

What 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy with pages of information, helpful tips and hints to prepare and recover from hysterectomy. Free download for members.

HysterSisters Articles

Options to Hysterectomy
Treatment Alternatives
Pre-Op Hysterectomy
Post-Op Hysterectomy
Separate Surgeries
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Pelvic Floor
Separate Surgeries
Fitness after Hysterectomy
GYN Cancer
Breast Health
Grief and Loss
Uterine Fibroids
GYN Genetics
Hysterectomy Stories
Ask A Doctor

Find a Surgeon

HysterSisters Doctor Directory
Eve LaValley Willsey, M.D.
5821 Jameson Court
Carmichael CA 95608
(916) 486-0411
Mayra J. Thompson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd Dept OBGYN
Dallas TX 75290
Joseph S. Valenti, M.D.
2805 S. Mayhill Road
Denton TX 76208
940 591-6700
Jack Ayoub, M.D.
44035 Riverside Parkway
Suite 435
Leesburg VA 20176
James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Suite 109
Binghamton NY 13905
heath miller, M.D.
4245 Roosevelt Way NE
suite 4
seattle WA 98105
206-598-5500 ext 8
Ted Lee, M.D.
Magee Womens Hospital
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh PA 15213
412 641 6412
Siobhan Kehoe, M.D.
Gynecological Oncology Clinic - SW Med
2201 Inwood Road Suite 106
Dallas TX 75390
Aileen Caceres, M.D.
Center for Specialized Gynecology/Florida Hospital
410 Celebration Place, Suite 302
Celebration FL 34747
(407) 303-4573


Hysterectomy News

January 29,2022


HysterSisters Takes On Partner To Manage Continued Growth And Longevity
I have news that is wonderful and exciting! This week’s migration wasn’t a typical migration - from one set ... News Archive


Calendar - Hysterectomies - Birthdays

Request Information

I am a HysterSister


Featured Story - All Stories - Share Yours


Your Hysterectomy Date

CUSTOMIZE Your Browsing