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Vaginal cancer

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Introduction
Cancer of the vagina is a rare type of cancer. There are around 260 new cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed in the UK each year.
Symptoms of vaginal cancer
The most common symptom of vaginal cancer is painless vaginal bleeding. If you still have regular periods, bleeding may occur between normal periods.
Causes of vaginal cancer
The exact cause of vaginal cancer is unknown, but there are risk factors that increase your chances of getting it, including HPV, smoking and your age.
Diagnosing vaginal cancer
If your GP is unable to find what is causing your symptoms, they will probably refer you to a gynaecologist for further testing.
Treating vaginal cancer
Treatment for vaginal cancer will depend on how advanced the cancer is. Possible treatments include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.
Complications of vaginal cancer
Treatment for vaginal cancer can have a significant emotional impact, particularly in women who have not yet reached the menopause.
Preventing vaginal cancer
There is a strong link between certain types of human papilloma virus (HPV) and abnormalities that may develop into vaginal cancer.