Vaginal cancer treatment and causes

Last Modified: March 31, 2003


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
A friend of mine found out she has vaginal cancer. What is the best treatment today for this? Can this be related to her tonsil cancer from a few years ago? 


Stephen C. Rubin, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Vaginal cancer is one of the least common gynecologic malignancies. The treatment for the cancer will depend on the stage and the location of the tumor. For very early, pre-invasive cancers, laser treatment or simple removal of the involved tissue may suffice. For more advanced cancers, radical surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy could be indicated.

There is no direct relationship to cancer of the tonsils, but the conditions may share some of the same risk factors, including infection with the human papilloma virus, and smoking.