Vaginal cancer

Information about vaginal cancer

Vaginal cancer is cancer that starts in the vagina. It is very rare, especially in women under 40. More than 7 out of 10 vaginal cancers are in women over 60.

250 women are diagnosed in the UK each year.

The cause of vaginal cancer is unknown.


  • vaginal bleeding after the menopause
  • bleeding after sex or pain during sex
  • smelly or bloodstained vaginal discharge
  • bleeding between periods
  • a lump or itch in your vagina that won’t go away
  • pain when peeing, or needing to pee a lot, and pain when you pee
  • Pain in pelvic area
  • Swollen legs

However, if you have these symptoms, it’s much more likely you have something less serious, such as an infection.

Diagnosing Vaginal Cancer

If you are experiencing pain or symptoms you should visit your GP who might do a physical examination and refer you to a gynaecologist for further testing.

If the tests show cancer, you may have further tests to see if it has begun to spread.

Treatment would depend on your situation but could include radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy.