Vaginal cancer primary prevention

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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]

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Best way to reduce the risk of vaginal cancer is to avoid known risk factors and to find and treat any vaginal pre-cancers.

Primary Prevention

  • Effective measures for the primary prevention of vaginal cancer include:[1][2][3][4][5]
  • Avoid being exposed to HPV
    • Having sex at an early age
    • Having many sexual partners
    • Having a partner who has had many sex partners
    • Having sex with uncircumcised males
  • Delay sex: Waiting to have sex until you are older can help you avoid HPV.
  • Use condoms: Condoms provide some protection against HPV.
  • Avoidance of smoking:Clinical survey show no smoking is another important way to reduce the risk of cervical precancer and cancer.
  • Get vaccinated: Vaccines have been developed that can protect women from HPV infections. The development of a quadrivalent HPV recombinant prophylactic vaccine represents the first time in history that primary prevention of gynaecological cancers is offered to girls and women.
  • Regular gynecological examinations


  1. Saraiya M, Unger ER, Thompson TD, Lynch CF, Hernandez BY, Lyu CW, Steinau M, Watson M, Wilkinson EJ, Hopenhayn C, Copeland G, Cozen W, Peters ES, Huang Y, Saber MS, Altekruse S, Goodman MT (June 2015). "US assessment of HPV types in cancers: implications for current and 9-valent HPV vaccines". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 107 (6): djv086. doi:10.1093/jnci/djv086. PMID 25925419.
  2. Serrano B, de Sanjosé S, Tous S, Quiros B, Muñoz N, Bosch X, Alemany L (September 2015). "Human papillomavirus genotype attribution for HPVs 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 in female anogenital lesions". Eur. J. Cancer. 51 (13): 1732–41. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2015.06.001. PMID 26121913.
  3. Markham CM, Peskin MF, Shegog R, Baumler ER, Addy RC, Thiel M, Escobar-Chaves SL, Robin L, Tortolero SR (February 2014). "Behavioral and psychosocial effects of two middle school sexual health education programs at tenth-grade follow-up". J Adolesc Health. 54 (2): 151–9. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.10.204. PMC 4634364. PMID 24445180.
  4. Gupta A, Perkins RB, Ortega G, Feldman S, Villa A (October 2018). "Barrier use during oro-genital sex and oral Human Papillomavirus prevalence: Analysis of NHANES 2009-2014". Oral Dis. doi:10.1111/odi.12997. PMID 30367525.
  5. Diaz ML (August 2010). "Prevention of cervical, vaginal, and vulval cancers: role of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (6, 11, 16, 18) recombinant vaccine". Int J Womens Health. 1: 119–29. PMC 2971720. PMID 21072282.