What increases my risk for vaginal cancer?


Your risk for vaginal cancer goes up as you age. Women who are over 60 years of age comprise the age group most commonly diagnosed with vaginal cancer. If you know that you have atypical cells in your vagina, even if they haven't caused you problems in the past, your risk for vaginal cancer is increased. HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, can also increase your risk for getting the disease. If your mother took a drug called DES to prevent a miscarriage during her pregnancy (used from the late 1940s to 1971), you would be at risk for a less common form of vaginal cancer. If you've had other types of gynecological cancers, you're also at higher risk for vaginal cancer.

Continue Learning about Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal Cancer

Although less common than other types of gynecologic cancers, vaginal cancer can be very deadly once it spreads to other parts of the body.Several types of vaginal cancer exist, with the most common being squamous cell carcinoma, ...

which typically develops in the upper region of the vagina. Less than 3% of gynecologic cancers begin in the vagina, although several other cancer types commonly spread to this area. It is unknown what causes vaginal cancer, but several factors increase your risk to develop the disease. If youre over the age of 60, have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or have had other gynecologic cancers like cervical cancer, youre more likely to develop this disease. See your doctor if you have a bloody and rank smelling vaginal discharge, notice painful urination or pelvic pain, or feel a lump in your vagina.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.