Women may be concerned about drinking alcohol and vaginal cancer risk. However, drinking alcohol (wine, distilled spirits or beer) does not increase the risk of developing cancer of the vagina. That’s the conclusion of leading medical organizations. They include the National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology, CancerHelp UK, tand many others.
The risk factors for cancer of the vaginal include these.
- Age. It usually develops after the age of 60.
- Radiation therapy in the vaginal area.
- Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Cervical cancer.
- Pessary (a device used to keep a sagging uterus in place) use
- DES use by mother. That’s a drug often used by pregnant women between the late 1940s and 1971.
The symptoms of vaginal cancer include any of these.
- Bleeding or discharge not associated with menstruation.
- A lump in the vagina.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain in the pelvis.
Such symptoms may or may not indicate vaginal cancer. Therefore, see a doctor.
The risk of developing vaginal cancer can be reduced in a number of ways:
- Receiving a vaccine to prevent vaginal cancer among girls and women ages nine to 26.
- Not smoking.
- Avoiding sexual intercourse until late teens or older.
- Having regular Pap tests.
- Practicing safe sex.
- Avoiding sex with multiple partners.
- Not having sex with anyone who has had many partners.
Alcohol for Health
Drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of developing vaginal cancer. However, it is associated with better health and living longer. That’s in comparison with either not drinking alcohol or abusing it.
Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For women it’s having no more than three drinks on any day and an average of seven drinks each week.
A standard alcoholic drink is a:
Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.
No form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) gives more health or longevity benefits than any other.
Resources on Alcohol and Vaginal Cancer Risk
Allen, D. and Green, G. Lives Interrupted : Women and Gynaecological Cancer. Cork: BookBaby, 2018.
Bellinir, K. Cancer Sourcebook for Women: Basic Consumer Health Information about Gynecologic Cancers. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2018.
CDC. Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers. Atlanta: CDC, 2009.
Elit, L. Women and Cancer. NY: Nova, 2007.
Hartman, L. and Loprinzi, C. Mayo Clinic Guide to Women’s Cancers. Rochester, MN: Mayo, 2007.
Jones, K. Cancer Sourcebook. Detroit: 2015.
Medical Tests Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Health Information. Detroit: Omn, 2018
Omni. Women’s Health Concerns Sourcebook. Boston: Credo, 2018.
Smith, J. and Del Priore, G. Women’s Cancers: Pathways to Healing. A Patient’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer. London: Imperial, 2016.
Turkington, C. and Edelson, M. The Encyclopedia of Women’s Reproductive Cancer. NY: Facts on File, 2009.
Note: This website makes no recommendations drinking drinking alcohol and vaginal cancer risk. Nor about any other matter.