Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
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For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
The exact cause of most vaginal cancers is not known. But scientists have found that it is linked to a number of conditions described in Risk Factors for Vaginal Cancer Research is being done to learn more about how these risk factors cause cells of the vagina to become cancer.
Research has shown that normal cells make substances called tumor suppressor geneproducts to keep from growing too rapidly and becoming cancers. High-risk HPV (human papillomavirus) types (like 16 and 18) produce 2 proteins (E6 and E7) that can change the way known tumor suppressor gene products work.
Women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) as a fetus (that is, their mothers took DES during pregnancy) are at increased risk for developing clear cell carcinoma. DES also increases the likelihood of vaginal adenosis (gland-type cells in the vaginal lining rather than the usual squamous cells). Most women with vaginal adenosis never develop vaginal clear cell carcinoma. Still, those with a rare type of adenosis called atypical tuboendometrial adenosis do have a higher risk of developing this cancer.