What are the signs of vaginal cancer?
Who is most at risk for vaginal cancer?
Can HPV cause vaginal cancers?
Vaginal cancer, at its earliest stages, does not cause symptoms, but it is important to call a gynecologist if you experience vaginal bleeding that occurs when you are not menstruating or after menopause. Vaginal cancer can also cause symptoms such as bleeding or pain during intercourse, pelvic pain, pain during urination and constipation. It is important to talk to a gynecologist if you experience any of these symptoms.
Who can get the HPV vaccine?
Some strains of HPV (known as “high-risk”) can cause vaginal and other cancers, including cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, anal cancer and throat cancer. People who are treated at Penn Medicine for one of these cancers will continue to be monitored for other HPV-related cancers. If you have high-risk HPV, smoking increases the risk of developing an HPV-related cancer.
Can I have children after a vaginal cancer diagnosis?
How long can you live after being diagnosed with vaginal cancer?
The HPV vaccine protects against the high-risk strains of the virus that can cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is currently available for adults 45 years of age and younger.
What are the stages of vaginal cancer?
The average five-year relative survival rate for vaginal cancer is 67 percent for early stage cancers. The survival rates decrease for later-stage cancers.
All cancers are divided into stages. The characteristics of each stage depend on the cancer. For vaginal cancer:
- Stage 0. The very earliest stage of vaginal cancer is also known as carcinoma in situ (CIS), vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) or precancer, because the cancer cells are trapped in the vaginal skin and have not yet grown into the deeper tissues or spread away from the vagina.
- Stage I. Cancer has started to grow into the deeper tissues, but has not spread beyond the vagina.
- Stage II. Cancer has started to spread outside the vagina into the surrounding tissues but has not reached the walls of the pelvis.
- Stage III. Cancer has spread outside the vagina and reached nearby lymph nodes or pelvic side walls.
- Stage IV. Advanced vaginal cancer has spread to other organs outside the vagina.