Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

Vaginal Cancer Overview

Vaginal cancer is one of the rarest types of gynecologic cancers, accounting for only three percent of reproductive cancers. Originating in the lining of the vagina, it most often affects women between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.

Since many vaginal cancers are associated with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18, vaginal cancer can be prevented at a young age by getting an HPV vaccination.

Vulvar Cancer Overview

Vulvar cancer is also quite uncommon—statistics show that only 4,000 cases occur in the United States annually. Originating as a tumor in the external genitalia, vulvar cancer is highly curable when detected at an early stage. However, treatment can have negative effects on body image, sexual function as well as bladder and rectal function.

Vulvar cancers may also be associated with HPV, so vaccination at an early age is an important step toward prevention. Examination of the vulva for changes, either by you or your physician, can be your best ally for early detection.