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Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers

Diagram of the female genital tract depicting fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva.

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.

When cancer starts in the vagina, it is called vaginal cancer. The vagina, also called the birth canal, is the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.

When cancer starts in the vulva, it is called vulvar cancer. The vulva is the outer part of the female genital organs. It has two folds of skin, called the labia. Vulvar cancer most often occurs on the inner edges of the labia.

When vaginal and vulvar cancers are found early, treatment works best.

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