Canadian Cancer Society logo

Vaginal cancer

You are here: 

Treatment of stage III vaginal carcinoma

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

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

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.

Clinical trials

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

Stories

Now I know that I will help someone with cancer even after I’m gone. It’s a footprint I want to leave behind me.

Read Barbara's story

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how your lifestyle choices can affect cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life!

Learn more