Vaginal Cancer

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Treating Vaginal Cancer TOPICS

Topical therapy for vaginal cancer

Topical therapy puts the drug directly onto the cancer. This is another way to treat VAIN, but is not used to treat invasive vaginal cancer.

One choice is to apply the chemotherapy drug, fluorouracil (5-FU), directly to the lining of the vagina. This is repeated weekly for about 10 weeks or given nightly for 1 to 2 weeks. This treatment has drawbacks. It can cause severe vaginal and vulvar irritation. Also, it may not work as well using the laser or simply removing the lesion with surgery.

A second drug that can be used topically is called imiquimod. This drug comes in a cream to be applied to the area of VAIN. Imiquimod is not chemotherapy drug. Instead, it acts by boosting the body's immune response to the area of abnormal tissue. This treatment has led to improvement of VAIN (the lesions changed from VAIN 2 or 3 to VAIN 1). In some women, it has caused VAIN to go away completely.


Last Medical Review: 01/30/2013
Last Revised: 02/13/2014