Symptoms For Cervical Cancer Which Must Not Be Ignored

The occurrence of cells different than the normal ones in the cervix can be a sign of cervical cancer. In most cases, this change happens due to a virus called Human papillomavirus (HPV). Moreover, almost every woman is susceptible to HPV, no matter of her age or physical appearance. Usually, this virus is sexually transmitted after having unsafe sexual relationship or having multiple sex partners. Cervical cancer can also occur in women due to overweight, taking oral contraceptives, poor immunity, genetics, smoking, first pregnancy at young age, and multiple pregnancies.

Cervical cancer is divided into four main stages. In the early stages it does not give any symptoms, and only in this case there are real possibilities of being treated. In more advanced stages, cervical cancer can spread to the intestines, bladder, liver, or lungs.

The best way to early discover cervical cancer is by doing a pap test regularly, twice a year. Also, in the past few years HPV vaccination has proven to be a good prevention against this type of cancer.

Abnormal vaginal bleeding – this can be caused by many other conditions such as pelvic inflammatory or infection on pelvic organs, and hormonal imbalance. However, in the condition of cervical cancer, there is a formation of subnormal capillaries which can easily break and cause bleeding which usually appears between menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse or after a pelvic exam, and after menopause.

Pain during intercourse – this indicates advanced stage of the cervical cancer which has spread throughout the reproductive organs. Another common symptom is the thick and foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Similar symptoms can have STD or other infections but they should not be ignored.

Unusual vaginal discharge – watery, brown, pale, heavy, or discharge mixed with blood can be a sign of cervical or endometrial cancer. The normal vaginal secret is odorless and clear.

Heavier and longer menstrual periods– heavy bleeding is when you change sanitary napkins more often than every 2 hours. Still, heavy bleeding can be caused by many other medical conditions such as polyps, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, hormonal imbalance, endometriosis or thyroid, liver or kidney disease, or certain medications.

Unexpected weight loss– when the body suffers from cancer, the immune system works intensively in order to fight it, and the body produces small amount of cytokines, proteins which break down fat at a higher rate than normal which leads to weight loss.

Discomfort while urinating – in case of burning, stinging and tight sensation while urinating, you should immediately consult your doctor because it can be a sign of cervical cancer. However, these symptoms commonly occur due to urinary tract infection, bladder problem, yeast infection, or sexually transmitted disease. Consult your doctor anyway.

Pelvic pain – frequent pain and cramps which last for longer period of time can indicate cervical cancer. These are symptoms of advanced stage of cervical cancer.

Loss of bladder control – frequent urination or a blood in the urine can indicate that cancer has spread and affected the bladder or other parts of the urinary tracts.
Leg pain – in the advanced stage, as the cancer is spreading, it obstructs the blood flow which leads to severe pain and swelling in the legs that makes it hard for you to complete your daily activities. Gradually, with time, the pain becomes more intense and lasts for longer periods. However, having pain in the legs is not necessarily a sign of any type of cancer, so it is recommended to consult your doctor.

Constant fatigue – if you have good sleep and enough time to rest and you still feel exhausted and lack energy, then you should visit your doctor. As the cancer spreads, the red blood cells are replaced by white blood cells to fight the disease which leads to anemia, and anemia is followed by lack of energy and loss of appetite. Also, there is a lack of oxygen as well and the anemic response is a warning sign that the cancer is rapidly progressing.

Additional tips: get HPV vaccination; quit smoking; take the right steps to prevent STDs; get screening every 3 years (women between 20-30 years), or 3-5 years for women 30-65 years.