At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, we know you are seeking comprehensive, personalized health care from a team that treats you with compassion and understanding. Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, experts and health care professionals work together to understand your needs both as a patient and as a person, evaluate your illness and develop an individualized treatment plan.
Vaginal cancer is a type of gynecological cancer that develops in your vagina, which is sometimes referred to as your birth canal. It’s the area that leads from the opening of your uterus, called your cervix, to your vulva and the outside of your body. Vaginal cancer is not very common and most often diagnosed in women over 60.
At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, we employ a multidisciplinary approach to treat all types of cancer, including vaginal cancer. Our team of experts, including gynecological oncologists and radiation oncologists, work together to develop an individual care plan based on your unique needs.
Oftentimes you won’t notice any signs of vaginal cancer in the earliest stages when it’s most treatable. That’s why it’s crucial to have regular pelvic exams and Pap tests. Some patients with vaginal cancer notice abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, painful intercourse or other symptoms.
There’s no one cause for all types of vaginal cancer. Advanced age, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, exposure to a drug called DES (diethylstilbestrol) and other factors can increase your risk.
Pap tests and pelvic exams can identify problems that could indicate vaginal cancer, and additional testing could include an HPV test, colposcopy, biopsy or other exams. Your doctor uses the results of your tests to determine how advanced your cancer is and to help you develop a treatment plan.
Vaginal cancer is often treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you based on your diagnosis and cancer stage.