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Vaginal cancer

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If vaginal cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the vagina to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Understanding the usual progression of cancer helps the doctor to predict its probable course, plan treatment and anticipate further care.

The most common sites where vaginal cancer spreads are:

  • vaginal wall
  • tissues around the vagina
  • pelvic wall
  • lymph nodes in the pelvis or groin
  • bladder
  • rectum
  • lungs
  • liver
  • bones

Spread of other cancers to the vagina is more common than primary cancer of the vagina. Cancers that may spread to the vagina include:

  • cervical (most common)
  • vulvar
  • uterine
  • ovarian
  • urethral
  • bladder
  • rectal
  • malignant trophoblastic disease


Dr Shawn Li I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.

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