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The following are treatment options for stage III vaginal carcinoma. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer. Treatment is the same for stage III squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Radiation therapy is the primary treatment for stage III vaginal carcinoma. A combination of brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy is given. External beam radiation therapy is given for 5–6 weeks, which includes therapy to the lymph nodes in the pelvis. This is followed by either interstitialinterstitialA type of radiation therapy that uses implants (needles, catheters, wires or seeds) to deliver radiation directly into or near a tumour. brachytherapy alone or interstitial and intracavitaryintracavitaryA type of radiation therapy that uses implants (needles, catheters, wires or seeds) to deliver radiation directly into or near a tumour. brachytherapy.
Surgery, although rarely done, may be offered for stage III vaginal carcinoma. Radical surgery such as pelvic exenteration may be combined with radiation therapy in some cases.
Women with vaginal carcinoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.
Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.