Vaginal cancer

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Survival statistics for vaginal cancer

Survival statistics for vaginal cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for vaginal cancer and what they mean to you.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

In Canada, a separate 5-year relative survival statistic is not reported for vaginal cancer. It is included in the other and unspecified female genital organ cancers category which includes similar cancers that are grouped and reported together. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual survival for the individual cancers within the group. The 5-year relative survival for all other and unspecified female genital organ cancers is 64%. This means that, on average, women diagnosed with other and unspecified female genital organ cancers are 64% as likely to live 5 years after their diagnosis as people in the general population.

Survival by stage and tumour type

Survival varies with each stage and particular type of vaginal cancer. Generally, the earlier vaginal cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages and types of vaginal cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources. It may include statistics from other countries that are likely to have similar outcomes as in Canada.

Other female genital system cancer survival
Stage5-year relative survival

I

84%

II

75%

III and IV

57%

Vaginal cancer survival by tumour type
Tumour type5-year relative survival

Squamous cell carcinoma

54%

Adenocarcinoma

60%

Melanoma

13%

All types of vaginal cancer combined

50%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

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