Vaginal Cancer

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Vaginal cancer is a type of cancer that tends to be very rare.  In a
one year period, there are only about 300 cases of vaginal cancer
diagnosed in the UK. Vaginal cancer can actually be classified into two
different types of cancer.  The first type of vaginal cancer is primary
vaginal cancer in which  the cancer started in the vagina itself, and
the second type of vaginal cancer is called secondary vaginal cancer,
in which the cancer started somewhere other than the vagina and has
spread there.

Primary vaginal cancer can further be
broken down into two different types of cancer, Squamous cell cancer
and Adenocarcinoma cancer.  The form of vaginal cancer called Squamous
cell cancer is the most common and is primarily found in the upper part
of the vagina and affects women between the ages of 50 and 70. 
Adenocarcinoma is a type of vaginal cancer that is much rarer, but
usually affects women under 20.

Secondary vaginal cancer is
more prevalent then primary vaginal cancer, and is usually found in the
neck of the womb near the cervix or near by organs like the bowel or

The exact cause of vaginal cancer has not been found,
however there is research going on to try and isolate the causes.  Some
people are at a high risk of developing vaginal cancer than others. 
For example, women who have had genital warts cause by human papilloma
virus have a slightly larger chance of developing vaginal cancer. Also,
a hormone drug abbreviated as DES has been shown to cause the
adenocarcinoma form of vaginal cancer.  This hormone drug has also been
shown to increase the risk of adenocarcinoma vaginal cancer in the
children of women who have taken the drug.  Therefore, if is extremely
important to stop the use of DES if pregnant or thinking about becoming

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