Vaginal Cancer Incidence Increasing Globally

Risk factors include unsafe sex and HIV infection
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of vaginal cancer is increasing globally, according to a study published online June 25 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Junjie Huang, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues investigated the incidence, risk factors, and trends for vaginal cancer using data from the Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer Incidence in Five Continents Plus, Global Burden of Disease, World Bank, and the United Nations.

The researchers found that in 2020, there were 17,908 newly reported cases of vaginal cancer (age-standardized rate [ASR], 0.36), with the highest ASRs reported in South-Central Asia and Southern Africa. A higher incidence of vaginal cancer was associated with a higher prevalence of unsafe sex and HIV infection. Over time, there was rising incidence globally, with Iceland (average annual percentage change [AAPC], 29.56), Chile (AAPC, 22.83), Bahrain (AAPC, 22.05), and the United Kingdom (AAPC, 1.40) showing the most significant rising trends.

"The increasing incidence trend emphasizes the need for enhanced human papillomavirus vaccination rates to prevent the development of vaginal cancer," the authors write. "Education should be provided to individuals in high-risk regions about the dangers of unsafe sex and the importance of human papillomavirus vaccination."

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