The vagina is the narrow muscular canal that connects the cervix to the outside of the body. Cancer that originates in the vagina is very rare. When detected in its early stages it can be easily cured, however more advanced disease that has spread to other parts of the body is difficult to treat. According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of new cases of vaginal cancer estimated for 2014 is 3,170, with approximately 880 of those resulting in death.
There are two main types of vaginal cancer:
At Roswell Park, we treat all gynecologic cancers with the same level of consideration, whether they are common and highly treatable or extremely rare and aggressive. Vaginal cancer may not present with symptoms in the early stages, so it may be mistaken for other conditions until it has become highly invasive. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for routine pelvic exams, which can be used to identify vaginal cancer in the early stages.
The symptoms of vaginal cancer may be mistaken for other less serious conditions so it’s important to be evaluated by your physician if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below for an extended period: