Cancer - vagina
Share | - Comprehensive articles covering over 1,700 topics. The articles are organized by the disease, condition overview, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Drugs search, click the first letter of a drug name:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 8 | 9

Terms search, click the first letter of a term name:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Online medical services

Medical dictionary is a searchable dictionary of medical terms from medicine and related fields. Search for medical terms with our medical dictionary.

Drugs & Medications Search our drug database for comprehensive prescription and patient information on 24,000 drugs online. - The Internet Drug Index for prescription drugs and medications.

PMS blog Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), PMS headache

Blue waffles disease, blog. Blue waffle infection, blue waffle disease pictures.



Disease Reference

Click on the first letter in the disease name:

| 4 | 5 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Cancer - vagina


A vaginal tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the vagina, a female reproductive organ.

Alternative Names

Vaginal cancer; Cancer - vagina; Tumor - vaginal


Most cancerous vaginal tumors are the result of the spread of a different cancer, such as cervical or endometrial cancer. This is called secondary vaginal cancer.

Primary vaginal cancer is very rare. Most primary vaginal cancers start in skin cells called squamous cells. The remainder is grouped as adenocarcinoma (6%), melanoma (3%), and sarcoma (3%).

The cause of squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina is unknown, but up to 30% of patients have a prior history of cervical cancer.

About 75% of patients with squamous cell cancer of the vagina are over 50. Adenocarcinomas of the vagina more commonly affect younger women. The average age of diagnosis for adenocarcinoma of the vagina is 19.

Women whose mothers took diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the first 3 months of pregnancy are at increased risk for developing adenocarcinoma.

Sarcoma botryoides of the vagina is a rare type of cancer that mainly occurs in infancy and early childhood.


  • Painless vaginal bleeding and discharge
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic or vaginal pain

About 5 - 10% of patients have no symptoms and have their cancer detected at the time of routine pelvic examination and Pap smear.

Exams and Tests

Tests to diagnose vaginal tumors include:

  • Pelvic examination
  • Pap smear
  • Biopsy

If a Pap smear is abnormal, but problems with the vagina can not be seen during a pelvic exam, a colposcopy may be done.

Other tests that may be done include:

  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis
  • Chest x-ray


Treatment of vaginal cancer depends on the individual woman, the specific type of vaginal cancer, and how widespread the disease is.

Surgery is sometimes used to remove the cancer, but most patients are treated with radiation. If the tumor is actually cervical cancer that has spread to the vagina, then radiation and chemotherapy are both given.

Sarcoma botryoides may be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

Support Groups

The stress of illness may be eased by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems. These support groups can be found by searching the Internet or contacting the American Cancer Society.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The prognosis of vaginal cancer depends largely on the stage of disease and the type of tumor. The overall 5-year survival rate for squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina is about 42%. The overall 5-year survival rate for patients with a vaginal adenocarcinoma is about 78%.

Possible Complications

Vaginal cancer may spread to other areas of the body. Other complications include complications of radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you notice bleeding after intercourse or have persistent vaginal bleeding or discharge.


No certain preventative measures are known, but early detection can be maximized by regular yearly pelvic examinations and Pap smears.

Email to a Friend

Your Name:

Friend's Email:

More about Cancer - vagina -
   Cancer - vagina
Abnormal heart rhythms
Nocardia infection
Acute HIV infection
Absent menses
Neuropathy - ulnar nerve

Medical dictionary | Natural mosquito repellents | Dust mites pictures | Prescription Drug Information | new 401k rules | Hyperkeratosis pilaris treatment
© Copyright by 2006-2007. All rights reserved