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Vaginal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VAIN)

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Treatment of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) 1 is usually watchful waiting.

Treatment of VAIN 2 and 3 may include the following:

  • Watchful waiting.
  • Laser surgery.
  • Wide local excision, with or without a skin graft.
  • Partial or total vaginectomy, with or without a skin graft.
  • Topical chemotherapy.
  • Internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of a new topical chemotherapy drug.

Stage I Vaginal Cancer

Treatment of stage I squamous cell vaginal cancer may include the following:

  • Internal radiation therapy.
  • External radiation therapy, especially for large tumors or the lymph nodes near tumors in the lower part of the vagina.
  • Wide local excision or vaginectomy with vaginal reconstruction. Radiation therapy may be given after the surgery.
  • Vaginectomy and lymph node dissection, with or without vaginal reconstruction. Radiation therapy may be given after the surgery.

Treatment of stage I vaginal adenocarcinoma may include the following:

  • Vaginectomy, hysterectomy, and lymph node dissection. This may be followed by vaginal reconstruction and/or radiation therapy.
  • Internal radiation therapy. External radiation therapy may also be given to the lymph nodes near tumors in the lower part of the vagina.
  • A combination of therapies that may include wide local excision with or without lymph node dissection and internal radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I vaginal cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage II Vaginal Cancer

Treatment of stage II vaginal cancer is the same for squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinoma. Treatment may include the following:

  • Both internal and external radiation therapy to the vagina. External radiation therapy may also be given to the lymph nodes near tumors in the lower part of the vagina.
  • Vaginectomy or pelvic exenteration. Internal and/or external radiation therapy may also be given.
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