Vaginal cancer begins in the vagina and it occurs when abnormal cells in the tissues of the vagina grow in an uncontrolled way. Although vaginal cancer accounts for only about 2% of gynaecological cancers, the vagina is more commonly involved with secondary cancer spread from the cervix or vulva.
Approximately 120 Australian women are diagnosed with vaginal cancer each year, which is rare, making knowledge about risk factors sparse. Squamous cell carcinoma (skin type) cancers primarily affects women over 50 years old, while adenocarcinomas (glandular tissue) primarily affect women under 20 years of age.
Treatment involves surgical excision for very early cancers and radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of both for more advanced cancers.
Statistical Source – Cancer Australia, the lead cancer control agency to the Government of Australia.