Vaginal cancer is not common. There are two main types of vaginal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is more likely than squamous cell cancer to spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. A rare type of adenocarcinoma is linked to being exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth. Adenocarcinomas not linked with being exposed to DES are most common in women after menopause.
Age and being exposed to the drug DES before birth affect a woman’s risk of vaginal cancer. Other risk factors for vaginal cancer are human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a history of abnormal cells in the cervix or cervical cancer, a history of abnormal cells in the uterus or cancer of the uterus and having had a hysterectomy for health problems that affect the uterus.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 8,470 cases of vaginal and other female genital cancers will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023, and about 1,470 deaths will occur.Vaginal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)
Source: National Cancer Institute