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 8,180 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. Similar to cervical cancer, vaginal cancer is more common among groups of women who are less likely to have access to screening for cervical cancer.
It is estimated that 1,530 deaths from this disease will occur this year.
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 women with vaginal cancer 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 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. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatments that have been available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the websites of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (sources accessed February 2021).
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.