Vaginal Cancer Symptoms and Causes
The Gynecologic Oncology Program at North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of vaginal cancer. Our medical experts include specialists in a multitude of disciplines such as Gynecologic Oncology, Medical Oncology, Oncology Nursing, Radiation Medicine, Social Work and Genetic Counseling.
Our physicians are full members of Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored organization conducting and coordinating research in cancers of the female reproductive system. Patients will have the opportunity to participate in GOG clinical trials relevant to their particular condition. They are monitored by our research nurses and managers, in addition to their doctors, effectively adding an extra layer of support to the care we provide.
What Is Vaginal Cancer?
Vaginal cancer is rare, but the Women's Health gynecologic oncologists at North Shore-LIJ Health System are experienced in providing comprehensive treatment for this type of cancer.
How Is Vaginal Cancer Diagnosed?
Vaginal cancer, or its precursors, is diagnosed after an abnormal pap test. However, please see your doctor if these symptoms occur:
- Irregular bleeding
- Vaginal lump
- Pelvic pain
There are two main types of vaginal cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma – This is the most common type of vaginal cancer. It forms in the cells lining the vagina and can sometimes spread to the lungs or liver. It is most often found in women aged 60 or older.
- Adenocarcinoma – This cancer begins in the glandular cells, which are mucus-secreting cells found in the lining of the vagina. This type of cancer is more likely to spread than squamous cell cancer, and it typically is found in younger women.
How Is Vaginal Cancer Treated?
Early vaginal cancer can often be cured using surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Our gynecologic oncologists are experts in surgical treatments for vaginal cancer and provide coordinated treatment options with our radiation oncologists and medical oncologists (chemotherapy).
Treatment options for gynecologic cancers at North Shore-LIJ include the latest in chemotherapeutic and biologic therapies and access to up-to-date clinical trials and innovative treatments, including:
- Laparoscopic and robotically assisted cancer surgery
- Chemotherapy (intravenous and intraperitoneal)
- Hormone therapy
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which allows for precise radiation doses to navigate to specific areas within the tumor through three-dimensional imaging
- Fertility-sparing surgical techniques
Vaginal Cancer Clinical Trials
The North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute offers a full array of clinical trials. The result of this research not only impacts survival, but also enhances the quality of life. For more information about clinical trials for Vaginal Cancer, visit Cancer Clinical Trials.
Make an appointment at the Cancer Institute
The North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best cancer care for yourself and your family. Learn more about the locations of our network of cancer diagnostic and treatment centers and hospitals.
Learn about the meeting times and locations for our support groups.
To learn more about the different types of cancer and treatment options, visit our Cancer Institute.