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Vaginal cancer


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Vaginal cancer is a very rare type of cancer that affects the vagina.

The main symptoms of vaginal cancer are a lump or ulcers and other skin changes in or around the vagina.

Most vaginal cancers are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).

You cannot always prevent vaginal cancer. But cervical screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways to protect yourself.

The main test for vaginal cancer is a colposcopy. This is where a specialist doctor or nurse checks your vagina and collects a small sample of cells.

Vaginal cancer is often treatable. The main treatments include radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy.

If you have vaginal cancer, support is available from your specialist team and charities like Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

Page last reviewed: 07/11/2023
Next review due: 07/11/2026