Vaginal cancer statistics


New cases of vaginal cancer, 2012, UK


Deaths from vaginal cancer, 2012, UK


Preventable cases of vaginal cancer, UK

  • There were around 300 new cases of vaginal cancer in the UK in 2012, that’s around 1 female every day.
  • Vaginal cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cases in the UK (2012).
  • Vaginal cancer is the fifth most common gynaecological cancer, accounting for around 1% of all gynaecological cancers.
  • Almost 4 in 10 (37%) cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed in women aged 75 and over.
  • Since the late-1970s, vaginal cancer incidence rates have remained stable in Great Britain.
  • Over the last decade, vaginal cancer incidence rates have remained stable in the UK.
  • 1 in 1,270 women will be diagnosed with vaginal cancer during their lifetime.

  • 63% of vaginal cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A woman’s risk of developing vaginal cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because this cancer is relatively rare.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for vaginal cancer, linked to an estimated 63% of vaginal cancer cases in the UK. Some other factors may relate to vaginal cancer risk partly because they are related to HPV.
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol in utero causes vaginal cancer.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and problems with the immune system may relate to higher vaginal cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth vaginal cancer risk factors

  • ‘Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.
  • Almost a fifth of vaginal cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • Around 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • Almost 95% of patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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The latest statistics available for vaginal cancer in the UK are; incidence 2012, mortality 2012. Reliable survival data for the UK is currently not available. 

The ICD code Open a glossary item for vaginal cancer is ICD-10 C52.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2010-2012 due to the small number of cases.

Overall, the evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because of this cancer’s relative rarity. Many studies combine vaginal and vulval cancer in order to obtain a larger number of cases for analysis.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Vaginal cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.


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