Vaginal cancer natural history

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Syed Musadiq Ali M.B.B.S.[2]

Vaginal cancer Microchapters


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Historical Perspective




Differentiating Vaginal cancer from other Diseases

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Depending on the extent of the tumor at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis of vaginal cancer may vary. However, the prognosis is generally regarded as good.The 5-year survival rate can also depend on the type of vaginal cancer. For squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina, the 5-year survival rate is 54%. For adenocarcinoma of the vagina, the rate is about 60%. Symptoms are related to local extension of disease, urinary symptoms (eg, frequency, dysuria, hematuria), or gastrointestinal complaints (eg, tenesmus, constipation, melena)

Natural History


Surgery related

Radiotherapy related


  • Data from a United States National Cancer Database showed an increased risk of mortality in women with vaginal cancer with stage II or greater disease and/or tumor size >4 cm (five-year survival 65 versus 84 percent in tumors ≤4 cm)[4].
  • Mortality was 51 percent higher in women with melanoma compared with squamous vaginal cancer.
  • Patient prognosis depends primarily on the stage of disease, but survival is reduced among those who are older than 60 years, are symptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
  • In addition, the length of vaginal wall involvement has been found to be associated with survival and stage of disease in vaginal Squamous cell cancer(SCC) patients.
  • Non–DES-associated adenocarcinomas generally have a worse prognosis than Squamous cell cancer(SCC) tumors, but DES-associated clear cell tumors have a relatively good prognosis[5].


  1. Choo YC, Anderson DG (August 1982). "Neoplasms of the vagina following cervical carcinoma". Gynecol. Oncol. 14 (1): 125–32. PMID 7095583.
  2. Herbst AL, Ulfelder H, Poskanzer DC (April 1971). "Adenocarcinoma of the vagina. Association of maternal stilbestrol therapy with tumor appearance in young women". N. Engl. J. Med. 284 (15): 878–81. doi:10.1056/NEJM197104222841604. PMID 5549830.
  3. Nori D, Hilaris BS, Stanimir G, Lewis JL (October 1983). "Radiation therapy of primary vaginal carcinoma". Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 9 (10): 1471–5. PMID 6629889.
  4. Beller U, Sideri M, Maisonneuve P, Benedet JL, Heintz AP, Ngan HY, Pecorelli S, Odicino F, Creasman WT (2001). "Carcinoma of the vagina". J Epidemiol Biostat. 6 (1): 141–52. PMID 11385773.
  5. Hellman K, Lundell M, Silfverswärd C, Nilsson B, Hellström AC, Frankendal B (2006). "Clinical and histopathologic factors related to prognosis in primary squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina". Int. J. Gynecol. Cancer. 16 (3): 1201–11. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1438.2006.00520.x. PMID 16803507.