It is rare type of cancer that starts in the vagina. It accounts for about 1 percent by trusted source of female genital cancers, estimates the National Cancer Institute. Vaginal cancer is an abnormal growth of malignant (cancerous) cells in the vagina. Most vaginal cancers, about 85%, are squamous cell carcinomas. These grow in the “skin” (epithelial lining) of the vagina. They are often found in the top part of the vagina near the cervix. They grow over many years from precancerous areas called vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN).