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Vaginal cancer

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Treatment of recurrent vaginal carcinoma

The following are treatment options for recurrent vaginal carcinoma. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer and prior history of cancer treatment. Treatment is the same for recurrent squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.


Surgery may be offered for locally recurrent vaginal carcinoma. The type of surgery often recommended is pelvic exenteration. Surgery is the usual treatment choice if the cancer has come back after treatment with radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy may be offered for recurrent vaginal carcinoma if the cancer was originally treated with surgery.


Chemotherapy may be offered for a local recurrence that cannot be removed by surgery or for metastatic disease. The chemotherapy drugs that may be used are:

  • 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil)
  • cisplatin (Platinol AQ)
  • mitomycin (Mutamycin)
  • methotrexate
  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox)
  • bleomycin (Blenoxane)
  • paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • docetaxel (Taxotere)

Clinical trials

Women with vaginal carcinoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


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