Is vaginal cancer genetic?

No, but... A certain type of vaginal cancer has a high risk of occurring in a woman if her mother took des while she was pregnant. This is called clear cell vaginal carcinoma. Women whose mothers took des have a 40x increased chance of getting this cancer. Early age at first intercourse, smoking, and hpv infection are associated with an increased risk of any type of vaginal cancer.
Mostly due to HPV. Most vaginal cancers are not related to any inherited genetic risk but instead are due to the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (hpv). The same high-risk types that cause cervical cancer and precancerous changes can have the same effect on the vagina, vulva, and anus.

Related Questions

Who gets vaginal cancer?

Risk factors are: The hpv family of viruses encompasses over 100 different strains responsible for cervical cancer, genital warts and vulvar/vaginal cancer. Risk factors include multiple sexual partners, early age of first intercourse, history of abnormal pap smear, history of rectal cancer or hiv. Also, taking chronic meds like steroids or immune modulating meds for auto-immune diseases can increase the risk. Read more...
Vaginal Cancer. It is well established that certain strains of the human papilloma virus (hpv) are linked to vaginal cancer, as are prior exposure of your mother to a drug called des, which has not been used for years. Advancing age is considered a risk factor. At your age, there is little chance that you would develop the disease unless your mother was treated with des. Read more...

Can vaginal cancer be cured?

Poor prognosis. Unfortunately, vaginal cancer has a poor prognosis. 80% of vaginal cancers are metastatic (spread) from cancer originating in other organs in the pelvis. If a cancer has already spread, prognosis is usually poor. Overall 5 year survival for vaginal cancer is about 40%. Cancers that are caught early on before they have spread have a better chance of cure. Read more...
Yes. As in any cancer if found early it's easier to cure. Therefore small vaginal tumors can be resected. But even advanced vaginal cancer that don't lend to surgery can be treated with radiation and chemotherapy with a possibility of cure (though less). Radiation has external machines and interstitial implants that can be performed that can kill sometimes rather large tumors that have not spread. Read more...

How is vaginal cancer diagnosed?

Biopsy. Precancerous lesions are noticed on examination and can be further evaluated by your doctor a number of ways, but most likely need to be biopsied to make the correct diagnosis. After a tissue diagnosis has been made, excision of the lesion is generally recommended. Read more...
Biopsy. Examination, evaluation by gynecologist may lead to a biopsy of a suspicious lesion. This is the only way to diagnose it. Read more...

Is vaginal cancer a common thing?

No. It is rare. But it is one of the things that your pcp or gynecologist will look for when they do your pelvic exam. Read more...
No. There are generally less than 3000 cases per year in the United States. www.cancer.net is a great resource for more information on vaginal cancer. http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/vaginal-cancer. Read more...

What are the tests for vaginal cancer?

Physical and biopsy. The first step would be physical examination of the suspected lesion. A biopsy of the lesion and examination of the tissue by a pathologist are usually necessary. Read more...

What's the prognosis of vaginal cancer?

Depends. Like most solid tumors the prognosis for your disease will depend upon the stage of the disease. The lower the stage, the less tumor there is and the more likely a good prognosis. As the stage of disease increases tumor burden increases and the less good the prognosis. Remember though that statistics are based on groups of people and do not necessarily apply to any one individual. Read more...

What are the symptoms of vaginal cancer?

Discharge, mass. Pain, ulcer. Vaginal cancers are less common than cervical cancer. The lesions are likely to manifest by producing bloody discharge, mass and/or ulcer in the vagina, depending on the location, pain. Bleeding on intercourse may be an early sign. Read more...

What is the prognosis of having vaginal cancer?

Depends. There are many factors which play into prognosis. Staging of the disease is very important. Staging classifies the diseases into stages 0 through IV depending on the extent of the tumor (t), whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes (n) and whether it has spread to distant sites (m for metastasis). Stage helps to predict prognosis and helps to determine the most appropriate treatment course. Read more...

What are the symptoms, if any of vaginal cancer?

Varies with stage. Vaginal cancer is uncommon but does occur. As it developes, there would be little, if any discomfort. The first signs may be bleeding with sex, and eventually an increased vaginal discharge, with or without bleeding. By the time pain symptoms occur with a vaginal cancer, it usually is invading into the surrounding tissues. Vaginal cancer could be found on your annual exam, before symptoms occur. Read more...
Pain and bleeding. There will be blood seen that is seen between or at times when not expected from menstruation. Pain is common with sexual activity. With advanced cancer there can be invasion into the bladder or rectum causing changes or bleeding in urine or bowel. Cervix cancer symptoms can be similar. A pelvic exam by your gynecologist with pap smears is the best screening and should be done yearly. Read more...