There are currently no screening tests for detecting vaginal cancer in asymptomatic women. Women who have precancerous areas of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) or early-stage vaginal cancer often experience no symptoms that would otherwise indicate a need for medical attention. There are, however, some general medical tests that can detect VAIN and other abnormalities that could indicate the need for further diagnostic testing. Being aware of warning signs and keeping up with well-woman recommendations can help catch cancer in early stages when there are more treatment options available.
Some general vaginal cancer screening recommendations include:
- An annual well-woman checkup
- A yearly pelvic examination
- An annual Pap test for women under age 65 (a Pap smear cannot detect vaginal cancer, but can detect cervical cancer and cervical precancerous conditions, which are often precursors to vaginal cancer)
- An annual human papilloma virus (HPV) test for women over age 30 (HPV can increase a woman’s risk of developing vaginal cancer)
In addition, women are encouraged to learn about the risk factors for vaginal cancer, pay close attention to their bodies, become familiar with what is normal for them and report any unusual changes promptly to a physician. A physician can also provide individualized risk management and vaginal cancer prevention strategies.
The multispecialty team in the gynecologic clinic at Moffitt Cancer Center is highly skilled and experienced in using the most advanced techniques and technology to diagnose and treat vaginal cancer. Additionally, our nationally acclaimed research team is continually developing and evaluating new screening methods and treatments. Our patients benefit from the expertise of a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that offers a full range of diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services, and is well equipped to address not only cancer, but all of a patient’s health and wellness needs.
If you’d like to learn more about vaginal cancer screening, contact the experts at Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing a new patient registration form online. We see patients with and without referrals.