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Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer


Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

Cancer of the vagina is exceptionally rare and is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 women each year in the United States. Vulvar cancer is almost as rare and is a malignancy that can occur on any part of the external organs, but most often affects the labia majora or labia minora.

Though vaginal and vulvar cancers are rare in young adults, we provide additional resources to women between the ages of 15 and 39 through our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program. Learn more.

Call 914.493.2181 to Request an Appointment or Make a Referral

Vaginal Cancer

The two most common types of vaginal cancer are:

  • Squamous cell cancer (squamous carcinoma): Squamous carcinoma is most often found in women between the ages of 60 and 80; it accounts for 85 to 90 percent of all vaginal cancers.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma is more often found in women older than 50 and accounts for five to 10 percent of all vaginal cancers. A rare form of cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma results from the use of the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) given to pregnant women between 1945 and 1970 to keep them from miscarrying.

Some of these cases may require radical pelvic surgery. These procedures often involve reconstruction. WMCHealth gynecologic surgeons work closely with plastic surgeons to perform these procedures.

Vulvar Cancer

Cancer of the vulva is typically slow-growing and accounts for just 0.6 percent of all cancers in women. Squamous cell cancer (described above) is the most common vulvar cancer. Vulvar melanoma is the second most common type of vulvar cancer, usually found in the labia minora or clitoris. Other types of vulvar cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Paget's disease
  • Sarcomas
  • Verrucous carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma

Some of these cases may require radical pelvic surgery. These procedures often involve reconstruction. WMCHealth gynecologic surgeons work closely with plastic surgeons to perform these procedures. The gynecologic oncologists at Westchester Medical Center offer numerous treatment options for vaginal and vulvar cancers, including surgical care, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapies. To request an appointment or make a referral, please call 914.493.2181.