Survival depends on different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
Doctors usually work out the outlook for a certain disease by looking at large groups of people. Because this cancer is less common, survival is harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.
Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.
Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).
Survival by stage
There are no national statistics available for vaginal cancer survival by stage in the UK.
The statistics below come from a study from an international organisation of specialists in women's cancer called FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecology Oncologists).
The study looked at vaginal cancer survival between 1999 and 2001. Vaginal cancer is rare, there is not a lot of information on survival, and these figures are now quite old. They are also international and may not represent UK survival.
More than 75 out of every 100 patients with stage 1 vaginal cancer (more than 75%) survived for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
More than 50 out of every 100 patients with stage 2 vaginal cancer (more than 50%) survived for 5 years or more.
More than 40 out of every 100 patients with stage 3 vaginal cancer (more than 40%) survived for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Around 20 out of every 100 patients with stage 4A vaginal cancer (around 20%) survived for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Almost 15 out of every 100 patients with stage 4B vaginal cancer (almost 15%) survived for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Carcinoma of the vagina. FIGO 26th Annual Report on the Results of Treatment in Gynecological Cancer
U Beller and others
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 2006. Volume 95, Supplement 1
Survival for all stages
The statistics below are for people diagnosed with vaginal cancer in England between 2009 and 2013.
Generally for people with vaginal cancer in England:
- almost 85 out of 100 people (almost 85%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis
- 65 out of 100 people (65%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis
These statistics are for people diagnosed with vaginal cancer in England between 2009 and 2013.
Net survival and the probability of cancer death from rare cancers.
P Muller and others
Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
What affects survival
Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread. It also depends on which part of the vagina is affected by cancer.
The type of cancer and grade of the cancer cells can also affect your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.
About these statistics
The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and researchers collect information. They watch what happens to people with cancer in the years after their diagnosis. 5 years is a common time point to measure survival. But some people live much longer than this.
5 year survival is the number of people who have not died from their cancer within 5 years after diagnosis.
For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for vaginal cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.