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Vaginal cancer is a rare type of cancer. It is more common in women 60 and older. You are also more likely to get it if you have had a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or if your mother took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when she was pregnant. Doctors prescribed DES in the 1950's to prevent miscarriages. You are also at higher risk if you have had abnormal cells in the vagina, cervix, or uterus.
It often doesn't have early symptoms. However, see your doctor if you notice:
- Bleeding that is not your period
- A vaginal lump
- Pelvic pain
A Pap test can find abnormal cells that may be cancer. Vaginal cancer can often be cured in its early stages. Treatment might include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Exposure and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Fertility and Sexual Side Effects in People with Cancer (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Vaginal Neoplasms (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: A single-institutional retrospective analysis of factors related to vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.
- Article: Temporal trends and projections of gynecological cancers in China, 2007-2030.
- Article: Clinicopathological demographics of malignant melanomas of the vulva and vagina in...
- Vaginal Cancer -- see more articles