Canadian Cancer Society logo

Vaginal cancer

You are here: 

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


Catherine Coulson Slowly, it dawned on me that I, too, could be a survivor

Read Catherine's story

Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life

Illustration of test tubes

A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.

Learn more