Vaginal Cancer
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Vaginal Cancer

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Vaginal cancer is a rare type of cancer most common in women 60 and older....

Vaginal cancer is a rare type of cancer most common in women 60 and older.
Women are more likely to develop vaginal cancer if they have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or if your birth mother took diethylstilbestol (DES) when she was pregnant. 
There are several types of vaginal cancer:
Squamous cell carcinoma
About 70 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers begin in the squamous cells that make up the epithelial lining of the vagina. These cancers are more common in the upper area of the vagina near the cervix. Squamous cell cancers of the vagina often develop slowly. First, some of the normal cells of the vagina get pre-cancerous changes. Then some of the pre-cancer cells turn into cancer cells. This process can take many years.
The medical term most often used for this pre-cancerous condition is vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN). "Intraepithelial" means that the abnormal cells are only found in the surface layer of the vaginal skin (epithelium). There are 3 types of VAIN: VAIN1, VAIN2, and VAIN3, with 3 indicating furthest progression toward a true cancer. VAIN is more common in women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy) and in those who were previously treated for cervical cancer or pre-cancer.
In the past, the term dysplasia was used instead of VAIN. This term is used much less now. When talking about dysplasia, there is also a range of increasing progress toward cancer - first, mild dysplasia; next, moderate dysplasia; and then severe dysplasia.
Adenocarcinoma
Cancer that begins in gland cells is called adenocarcinoma. About 15 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are adenocarcinomas. The usual type of vaginal adenocarcinoma typically develops in women older than 50. One certain type, called clear cell adenocarcinoma, occurs more often in young women who were exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero (when they were in their mother’s womb). (See the section called "What are the risk factors for vaginal cancer?" for more information on DES and clear cell carcinoma.)
Melanoma
Melanomas develop from pigment-producing cells that give skin its color. These cancers usually are found on sun-exposed areas of the skin but can form on the vagina or other internal organs. About 9 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are melanomas. Melanoma tends to affect the lower or outer portion of the vagina. The tumors vary greatly in size, color, and growth pattern. More information about melanoma can be found in our document called Melanoma Skin Cancer.
Sarcoma
A sarcoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of bones, muscles, or connective tissue. Up to 4 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are sarcomas. These cancers form deep in the wall of the vagina, not on its surface. There are several types of vaginal sarcomas. Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of vaginal sarcoma. It is most often found in children and is rare in adults. A sarcoma called leiomyosarcoma is seen more often in adults.

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Vaginal Cancer Vaginal Cancer Presentation Transcript

  • Fitango Education Health Topics Vaginal Cancerhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23
  • Overview Vaginal cancer is a rare type of cancer most common in women 60 and older. Women are more likely to develop vaginal cancer if they have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or if your birth mother took diethylstilbestol (DES) when she was pregnant.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 1
  • Overview There are several types of vaginal cancer: **Squamous cell carcinoma**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 2
  • Overview About 70 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers begin in the squamous cells that make up the epithelial lining of the vagina. These cancers are more common in the upper area of the vagina near the cervix. Squamous cell cancers of the vagina often develop slowly. First, some of the normal cells of the vagina get pre-cancerous changes. Then some of the pre-cancer cells turn into cancer cells. This process can take many years.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 3
  • Overview The medical term most often used for this pre- cancerous condition is vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN). "Intraepithelial" means that the abnormal cells are only found in the surface layer of the vaginal skin (epithelium). There are 3 types of VAIN: VAIN1, VAIN2, and VAIN3, with 3 indicating furthest progression toward a true cancer. VAIN is more common in women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy) and in those who were previously treated for cervical cancer or pre-cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 4
  • Overview In the past, the term dysplasia was used instead of VAIN. This term is used much less now. When talking about dysplasia, there is also a range of increasing progress toward cancer - first, mild dysplasia; next, moderate dysplasia; and then severe dysplasia. **Adenocarcinoma**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 5
  • Overview Cancer that begins in gland cells is called adenocarcinoma. About 15 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are adenocarcinomas. The usual type of vaginal adenocarcinoma typically develops in women older than 50. One certain type, called clear cell adenocarcinoma, occurs more often in young women who were exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero (when they were in their mother’s womb). (See the section called "What are the risk factors for vaginal cancer?" for more information on DES and clehttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 6
  • Overview **Melanoma** Melanomas develop from pigment-producing cells that give skin its color. These cancers usually are found on sun-exposed areas of the skin but can form on the vagina or other internal organs. About 9 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are melanomas. Melanoma tends to affect the lower or outer portion of the vagina. The tumors vary greatly in size, color, and growth pattern. More information about melanoma can be found in our document called Melanoma Skin Cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 7
  • Overview **Sarcoma** A sarcoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of bones, muscles, or connective tissue. Up to 4 of every 100 cases of vaginal cancer are sarcomas. These cancers form deep in the wall of the vagina, not on its surface. There are several types of vaginal sarcomas. Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of vaginal sarcoma. It is most often found in children and is rare in adults. A sarcoma called leiomyosarcoma is seen more often in adults. It tends to occur in women older than 50.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 8
  • Symptoms Vaginal cancer does not typically have early symptoms. However, you should contact a medical professional if you notice any of the following symptoms: -- bleeding at a time outside of your usual menstrual cycle -- a vaginal lumphttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 9
  • Symptoms -- abnormal vaginal discharge -- bleeding during or after intercourse -- pelvic pain http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vaginalcanc er.htmlhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 10
  • Diagnosis There are several exams a doctor might perform to test for vaginal cancer. These tests usually include a pelvis exam with a Pap smear and a biopsy, if needed. Other imaging tests include the following:http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 11
  • Diagnosis **Chest x-ray** : If vaginal cancer is diagnosed, a plain x-ray of your chest may be done to see if your cancer has spread to your lungs. This is very unlikely unless your cancer is far advanced. This x-ray can be done in any outpatient setting.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 12
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** : The CT scan is an x-ray procedure that produces detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture, as does a conventional x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you. A computer then combines these pictures into an image of a slice of your body (think of a loaf of sliced bread). The machine will take pictures of multiple slices of the part of your body that is being studied.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 13
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** Before any pictures are taken, you may be asked to drink 1 to 2 pints of a liquid called oral contrast. This helps outline the intestine so that certain areas are not mistaken for tumors. You may also receive an IV (intravenous) line through which a different kind of contrast dye (IV contrast) is injected. This helps better outline structures in your body.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 14
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** The injection can cause some flushing (redness and warm feeling that may last hours to days). A few people are allergic to the dye and get hives. Rarely, more serious reactions like trouble breathing and low blood pressure can occur. Medicine can be given to prevent and treat allergic reactions. Be sure to tell the doctor if you have ever had a reaction to any contrast material used for x-rays.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 15
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** CT scans take longer than regular x-rays and you will need to lie still on a table while they are being done. Also, you might feel a bit confined by the ring-like equipment you’re in when the pictures are being taken.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 16
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** A CT scan can provide information about the size, shape, and position of a tumor, and can be helpful to see if the cancer has spread to other organs. It can also help find enlarged lymph nodes that might have cancer cells.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 17
  • Diagnosis **Computed tomography (CT)** CT scans can also be used to precisely guide a biopsy needle into a suspected area of cancer spread. For this procedure, called a CT-guided needle biopsy, you remain on the CT scanning table while a doctor moves a biopsy needle toward the mass. CT scans are repeated until the doctor is sure that the needle is inside the mass. A fine needle biopsy sample (tiny fragment of tissue) or a core needle biopsy sample (a thin cylinder of tissue about ½ inch long and less than 1/8 inch in diameter) is rehttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 18
  • Diagnosis **Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): ** MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern of radio waves given off by the tissues into a very detailed image of parts of the body. Not only does this produce cross sectional slices of the body like a CT scanner, it can also produce slices that are parallel with the length of your body.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 19
  • Diagnosis **Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): ** Sometimes a contrast material is injected into a vein to help better see some structures in the body. The contrast used for MRI is different than the one used for CT, so being allergic to one does not mean that you are allergic to the other. MRI scans are a little more uncomfortable than CT scans. First, they take longer -- often up to an hour. Also, you have to be placed inside a tube, which is confining and can upset people with claustrophobia (a fear of close spaces). Newer, “open MRI” mahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 20
  • Diagnosis **Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): ** MRI images are particularly useful in examining pelvic tumors. They may often detect enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. They are also helpful in detecting cancer that has spread to the brain or spinal cord. This rarely occurs in vaginal cancer. **Positron emission tomography: **http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 21
  • Diagnosis **Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): ** Positron emission tomography (PET) uses glucose (a form of sugar) that contains a radioactive atom. Because cancers use glucose at a higher rate than normal tissues, the radioactivity tends to concentrate in the cancer. A special camera is used to detect the radioactivity. This test can be helpful for spotting collections of cancer cells, and can be useful to see if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. PET scans are also useful when your doctor thinks the cancer has spread, but doesn’t know whttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 22
  • Treatment After the diagnostic tests are done, your cancer care team will recommend a treatment plan. Dont feel rushed about considering your options.The choice of treatment depends on the type of cancer and stage of the disease when it is diagnosed.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 23
  • Treatment Other factors might play a part in choosing the best treatment plan. These could include your age, your overall state of health, whether you plan to have more children, and other personal considerations. Be sure you understand all the risks and side effects of the various therapies before making a decision about treatment.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 24
  • Treatment You may want to get a second opinion. This can provide more information and help you feel confident about the treatment plan you choose. Some insurance companies require a second opinion before they will pay for treatments.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 25
  • Treatment Invasive vaginal cancer is treated mainly with radiation therapy and surgery.Chemotherapy in combination with radiation may be used to treat advanced disease. Some other treatments are available to treat pre-cancers of the vagina (vaginal epithelial neoplasia, VAIN).http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 26
  • Treatment Whenever possible, treatment is given with the goal of completely removing or destroying the cancer. If a cure is not possible, removing or destroying much of the cancer in order to prevent the tumor from growing, spreading, or returning for as long as possible is important. If the cancer has spread widely, the main goal of treatment is palliation (relieving pain, blockage of the urinary or intestinal system, or other symptoms).http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 27
  • Prevention The American Cancer Society suggests the following tips to prevent vaginal cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 28
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor for vaginal cancer. In women, HPV infections occur mainly at younger ages and are less common in women over 30. The reason for this is not clear. Most of these infections in young women disappear, but in some cases the HPV DNA remains inside cells of a womans cervix and vagina. This can lead to pre-cancerous changes and even to cancer many years later.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 29
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Certain types of sexual behavior increase a womans risk of getting a genital HPV infection, such as: -- Having sex at an early age -- Having many sex partners -- Having a partner who has had many sex partnershttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 30
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Having sex with uncircumcised males Delaying sex until you are older can help you avoid HPV. It also helps if you limit your number of sex partners and avoid having sex with someone who has had many other sex partners. Remember that HPV can be present for years without causing any symptoms. It does not always cause warts or any other symptoms. Someone can have the virus and pass it on without knowing it.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 31
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Men who have not been circumcised are more likely to be infected with HPV and pass it on to their partners. The reasons for this are unclear, yet circumcision does not completely protect against HPV infection - men who are circumcised can still get HPV and pass it on to their partners.The risk of being infected with HPV is also strongly linked to having many sexual partners (over a mans lifetime).http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 32
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** *Condoms can lower the HPV infection rate by about 70%. Condoms cannot protect completely because they dont cover every possible HPV- infected area of the body, but they do provide some protection against HPV, and also protect against HIV and some other sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms also seem to help genital HPV infections clear faster in both women and men. **Get vaccinated**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 33
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** A vaccine called Gardasil can help protect against infection with HPV subtypes 16 and 18 (as well as 6 and 11). In studies, this vaccine was found to prevent anal and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11 and to prevent anal, vulvar, vaginal, and cervical cancers and pre-cancers caused by types 16 and 18.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 34
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** This vaccine can only be used to prevent HPV infection -- it does not help treat an existing infection. To be most effective, the vaccine should be given before a person becomes sexually active.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 35
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Gardasil was originally only approved for use in women to prevent cervical cancer, but it is now also approved to prevent vulvar and vaginal cancers and pre-cancers (in women) and to prevent anal cancers and pre-cancers in both men and women. It is also approved to prevent anal and genital warts in both men and women.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 36
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Cervarix, another HPV vaccine available in the US, can also be used to prevent infection with HPV types 16 and 18, but so far it has only been shown to help prevent cervical cancers and pre-cancers and not any of the other cancers linked to HPV infection (such as vaginal cancer). **Dont smoke**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 37
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Not smoking is another way to lower vaginal cancer risk. Women who dont smoke are also less likely to develop a number of other cancers, such as those of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys, and several other organs. **Find and treat pre-cancerous conditions**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 38
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Most vaginal squamous cell cancers are believed to start out as pre-cancerous changes, called vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia or VAIN. VAIN may be present for years before turning into a true (invasive) cancer. These pre-cancers can sometimes be found during cervical cancer screening. If a pre-cancer is found, it can be treated, stopping cancer before it really starts.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 39
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** Still, since vaginal cancer and VAIN are rare, doctors do not often do other tests to look for them in women who do not have symptoms or a history of pre-cancer or cancer of the cervix, vagina, or vulva. The American Cancer Society recommends these guidelines for the early detection of cervical cancer:http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 40
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21. Women aged 21 to 29, should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing should not be used for screening in this age group (although it may be used as a part of follow- up for an abnormal Pap test).http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 41
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Beginning at age 30, the preferred way to screen is with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. This should continue until age 65. Another reasonable option for women 30 to 65 is to get tested every 3 years with just the Pap test.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 42
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Women who are at high risk of cervical cancer because of a suppressed immune system (for example from HIV infection, organ transplant, or long term steroid use) or because they were exposed to DES in utero may need to be screened more often. They should follow the recommendations of their healthcare team.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 43
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Women over 65 years of age who have had regular screening in the previous 10 years should stop cervical cancer screening as long as they haven’t had any serious pre-cancers (like CIN2 or CIN3) found in the last 20 years (CIN is discussed in the section about cervical biopsies, in “How are cervical cancers and pre-cancers diagnosed”). Women with a history of CIN2 or CIN3 should continue to have testing for at least 20 years after the abnormality was found.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 44
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) should stop screening (such as Pap tests and HPV tests), unless the hysterectomy was done as a treatment for cervical pre-cancer (or cancer). -- Women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix (called a supra-cervical hysterectomy) should continue cervical cancer screening according to the guidelines above.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 45
  • Prevention **Avoid HPV exposure** -- Women of any age should NOT be screened every year by any screening method. -- Women who have been vaccinated against HPV should still follow these guidelines Although annual (every year) screening should not be done, women who have abnormal screening results may need to have a follow-up Pap test done in 6 months or a year.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 46
  • Risks Scientists have found that certain risk factors make a woman more likely to develop vaginal cancer. Even if a woman with vaginal cancer has one or more risk factors, it is impossible to know for sure how much that risk factor contributed to causing the cancer. And many women with vaginal cancer do not have any apparent risk factors.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 47
  • Risks These risks include: **Age** Squamous cell cancer of the vagina occurs mainly in older women. Only 15% of cases are found in women younger than 40. Almost half of cases occur in women who are 70 years old or older.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 48
  • Risks **Diethylstilbestrol (DES)** DES is a hormonal drug that was given to some women to prevent miscarriage between 1940 and 1971. Women whose mothers took DES (when pregnant with them) develop clear-cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina or cervix more often than would normally be expected. There is about 1 case of this type of cancer in every 1,000 daughters of women who took DES during their pregnancy. This means that about 99.9% of DES daughters do not develop this cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 49
  • Risks **Diethylstilbestrol (DES)** DES-related clear cell adenocarcinoma is more common in the vagina than the cervix. The risk appears to be greatest in those whose mothers took the drug during their first 16 weeks of pregnancy. Their average age when they are diagnosed is 19 years. Since the use of DES during pregnancy was stopped by the FDA in 1971, even the youngest DES daughters are older than 35 -- past the age of highest risk. But there is no age when a woman is safe from DES-related cancer. Doctors do not know exactly howhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 50
  • Risks **Vaginal adenosis** Normally, the vagina is lined by flat cells called squamous cells. In about 40% of women who have already started having periods, the vagina may have one or more areas where it is lined instead by glandular cells. These cells look like those found in the glands of the cervix, the lining of the body of the uterus (endometrium), and the lining of the fallopian tubes. These areas of gland cells are called adenosis. It occurs in nearly all women who were exposed to DES during their mothers pregnanchttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 51
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Up to 90% of vaginal cancers and pre-cancers (vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia -- VAIN) contain the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a group of more than 100 related viruses. They are called papilloma viruses because some of them cause a type of growth called a papilloma. Papillomas -- more commonly known as warts -- are not cancers. Different HPV types can cause different types of warts in different parts of the body. Some types cause common warts on the hands and feet. Other types tend tohttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 52
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Certain HPV types can infect the outer female and male genital organs and the anal area, causing raised, bumpy warts. These warts may barely be visible or they may be several inches across. The medical term for genital warts is condyloma acuminatum. 2 types of HPV, HPV 6 and HPV 11, cause most cases of genital warts. These 2 types are seldom linked to cancer, and so are called low- risk types of HPV.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 53
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Certain types of HPV have been strongly linked with vaginal cancers and pre-cancers. These types, HPV types 16 and 18, are considered high-risk types of HPV because they are strongly linked to cancer. They can also cause cancers of the cervix and vulva in women, cancer of the penis in men, and anal and oral cancers (in men and women).http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 54
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** HPV is passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact with an infected area of the body. Although HPV can be spread during sex -- including vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and oral sex - sex doesnt have to occur for the infection to spread. All that is needed is skin-to- skin contact with an area of the body infected with HPV. Infection with HPV seems to be able to be spread from one part of the body to another - for example, infection may start in the cervix and then spreahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 55
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** The only way to completely prevent anal and genital HPV infection is to never allow another person to have contact with those areas of the body.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 56
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Infection with HPV is common, and in most people the body is able to clear the infection on its own. In some, however, the infection does not go away and becomes chronic. Chronic infection, especially with high-risk HPV types, can eventually cause certain cancers, including vaginal cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 57
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** In women, HPV infections occur mainly at younger ages and are less common in women over 30. The reason for this is not clear. A person can be infected with HPV for years without any symptoms, so the absence of visible warts cannot be used to tell if someone has HPV. Even when someone doesnt have warts (or any other symptom), he (or she) can still be infected with HPV and pass the virus to somebody else.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 58
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Vaccines have been developed to help prevent infection with some types of HPV. Right now, 2 different HPV vaccines have been approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Gardasil® and Cervarix®. These are discussed in more detail later in this document. **Cervical cancer**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 59
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Having cervical cancer or pre-cancer (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cervical dysplasia) increases a womans risk of vaginal squamous cell cancer. This is most likely because cervical and vaginal cancers have similar risk factors, such as HPV infection and smoking.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 60
  • Risks **Human papilloma virus** Some studies suggest that treating cervical cancer with radiation therapy may increase the risk of vaginal cancer, but this was not seen in other studies, and the issue remains unresolved. **Smoking** Smoking cigarettes more than doubles a womans risk of getting vaginal cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 61
  • Risks **Alcoho** **l**http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 62
  • Risks **Alcoho** Drinking alcohol might affect the risk of vaginal cancer. A study of alcoholic women found more cases of vaginal cancer than was expected. But this study was flawed because it didnt look at other factors that can alter risk, such as smoking and HPV infection. A more recent study that did take these other risk factors into account found a decreased risk of vaginal cancer in women who do not drink alcohol at all.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 63
  • Risks **Human immunodeficiency virus** Infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS, also increases the risk of vaginal cancer.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 64
  • Risks **Vaginal irritation** In some women, stretching of the pelvic ligaments may cause the uterus to sag into the vagina or even extend outside the vagina. This condition is called uterine prolapse and can be treated by surgery or by wearing a pessary, a device to keep the uterus in place. Some studies suggest that long-term (chronic) irritation of the vagina in women using a pessary may slightly increase the risk of squamous cell vaginal cancer. But this association is extremely rare, and no studies have conclusively prohttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 65
  • Risks **Vaginal irritation** http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/VaginalCancer/Det ailedGuide/vaginal-cancer-risk-factorshttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 66
  • Additional Resources Visit the American Ca Society ncer for downloadable information about vaginal and other types of cancer. In addition to the American Cancer Society, other sources of patient information and support include:http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 67
  • Additional Resources **Foundation for Women’s Cancer ** (formerly the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation) Toll-free number: 1-800-444-4441 Telephone number: 1-312-578-1439 Web site: www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 68
  • Additional Resources **National Cancer Institute** Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4- CANCER); TYY: 1-800-332-8615 Web site: www.cancer.govhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 69
  • Additional Resources **National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship** Toll free number: 1-888-650-9127 Web site: www.canceradvocacy.orghttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 70
  • Additional Resources **Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Toll-free number:DES Update** 1-888-232-6789 Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/deshttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=23 71