Causes and risk factors of vaginal cancer
Certain things called risk factors may increase the risk of developing vaginal cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get cancer. And not having a risk factor does not mean that you will not get it.
Like other cancers, vaginal cancer is not infectious. You cannot catch it or pass it on to other people.
If you have had cervical cancer or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix (CIN) at least 5 years ago you may have an increased risk of developing vaginal cancer. This is likely to be related to HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer and CIN. But most people who have had cervical cancer or CIN will never develop vaginal cancer.
Below is a sample of the sources used in our vaginal cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at email@example.com
Adams T, Cuello M. Cancer of the Vagina: FIGO cancer report 2018. International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics. p14-21.
Royal College of Radiotherapy: Clinical Oncology. Radiotherapy dose fractionation, third edition. 2019.
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor Nick Reed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.
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We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.
We try to make sure our information is as clear as possible. We use plain English, avoid jargon, explain any medical words, use illustrations to explain text, and make sure important points are highlighted clearly.
We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected. Our aims are for our information to be as clear and relevant as possible for everyone.
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