ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with vaginal cancer each year. You will also read general information about surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
Vaginal cancer is uncommon. This year, an estimated 8,870 people in the United States will be diagnosed with vaginal cancer. About 75% of vaginal cancers are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV (see Risk Factors and Prevention). A person’s risk for vaginal cancer increases with age, and vaginal cancer is more common among groups of people who are less likely to have access to screening for cervical cancer. Worldwide, an estimated 17,908 people were diagnosed with vaginal cancer in 2020.
It is estimated that 1,630 deaths from this disease will occur in the United States this year. In 2020, an estimated 7,995 people worldwide died from vaginal cancer.
Survival rates for vaginal cancer vary based on different factors, including the stage (or extent) of the disease at the time of diagnosis. The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. Overall, the 5-year survival rate for people with vaginal cancer in the United States is 49%.
If the cancer is found at the earliest stage before it has spread outside the vaginal wall, the 5-year survival rate is 66%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 55%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 21%.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with vaginal cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how vaginal cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2022, and the websites of the American Cancer Society, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the National Cancer Institute. (All sources accessed January 2022.)
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by vaginal cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.