Cancer of the vagina is a disease in which malignant cells are found in the tissues of the vagina. Only about 1 of every 1,100 women will develop vaginal cancer in her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the year 2018, about 5,170 new cases of vaginal cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and 1,330 women would die of this cancer. Most vaginal cancers form in another part of the body and later spread to the vagina, although in some very rare cases, cancer can form in the vagina without having spread from another location.
Role of the Gynecologic Oncologist
Gynecologic oncologists are trained in the comprehensive management of gynecologic cancer. As such, they coordinate care for women with vaginal cancer from diagnosis, to surgery, to chemotherapy, through survivorship and palliative care at the end of life. They serve as captain of the entire cancer care team of medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and genetic counselors, among others. Seek a specialist near you.
Patients, Caregivers and Survivors
As part of the overview section on vaginal cancer, learn general information, including risk factors and symptoms, and what to do if your doctor suspects you or your loved one has been diagnosed with vaginal cancer.
In October 2013 Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, released SGO’s Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question with specific tests or procedures that are commonly ordered but not always necessary in gynecologic oncology. SGO’s Choosing Wisely now has a number of patient resources and is mentioned in various online reference materials related to gynecologic oncology.