Vaginal Cancer–for patients
The vagina (birth canal) leads from the cervix (the opening of the uterus) to the outside of the body.
The most common type of vaginal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the thin, flat cells that line the vagina. Other types of vaginal cancer are adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make mucus and other fluids), melanoma, and sarcoma.
Infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most vaginal cancer. Vaccines that protect against infection with these types of HPV may reduce the risk of vaginal cancer.
Vaginal cancer often does not cause early signs or symptoms. It may be found during a routine pelvic exam. When found early, vaginal cancer can often be cured.