Signs of Cervical Cancer: One of the most common cancers in women worldwide, cervical cancer is extremely dangerous. It happens in the cells of the cervix which is the lower part of uterus connecting with the vagina. Most of the cases of cervical cancer occur because of HPV (human papillomavirus) and women of any age can get this disease.
The most unfortunate thing about cancer is that it doesn’t show any symptoms until it spreads to other organs in the body like the liver, bladder, and lungs.
Women do not observe any symptoms and signs at all in the early stages of cancer. It may take years for normal cells to turn into cancerous cells in the cervix.
Risk factors of cervical cancer may include:
- Unprotected intercourse
- Multiple Sex partners
- History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Oral Contraceptives
- Poor Immunity
- Multiple pregnancies
- Organ transplant
Women should definitely get HPV vaccine which can protect them from various viruses including some of those which can cause cancer.
But keep in mind that even if you’re vaccinated, you still need regular check-ups because the vaccine cannot protect you against all cancer-causing strains.
Women can fight HPV infection but if they are regular smokers or had many children, the chances of getting cancer increase.
Even though, women do not get any prominent signs, however, if you observe any unusual changes which are affecting your reproductive organs, immediately get yourself checked by a doctor.
The good news is that the chances of getting treated with cervical cancer are highest if it is diagnosed at an early stage. Regular screening and follow up with your doctor can save your life.
Let’s see the top 10 warning signs of cervical cancer that you should never ignore:
Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer:
1. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
The most common warning signs of cervical cancer is untimely vaginal bleeding. When cancer from the cervix spreads to other tissues and organs, it creates abnormal capillaries which can be easily and lead to abnormal bleeding.
However, the bleeding can have other causes too such as a hormonal imbalance or some sort of infection in pelvic organs.
If you observe any unusual bleeding after intercourse, between menstrual periods or menopause, then consult a doctor immediately.
Many women may think that it can be normal spotting, but do not take such a chance with your health.
2. Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge:
The cervical cancerous cells sometimes die due to lack of oxygen and it affects the tumor. This creates a vaginal discharge that smells foul.
Women with cervical cancer get a vaginal discharge that may appear pale, yellow, brown or mixed with blood.
3. Pain During Sexual Intercourse:
Pain during sexual intercourse may indicate the cervical cancer is in its advances stages. Cancer may spread to other tissues and reproductive organs.
Women who have cervical cancer usually experience severe pain while having sex and thick foul-smelling vaginal discharge too.
If you had been getting this pain constantly, then do not ignore it. get help from a doctor as soon as possible.
ALSO READ: 15 Cancer Symptoms Most Women Often Ignore!
4. Pelvic and Lower Back Pain:
Continuous pelvic or lower back pain is a signs of cervical cancer. Women with cervical cancer get pelvic pain near the appendix only when the cancer is in an advance stage.
Constant lower back pain is a serious signs of cervical cancer.
Cramping and body ache during menstrual periods are normal, but if the pain lasts longer and beyond the periods, then it is a reason for concern.
The pain in the pelvic area can start at any time in a month when the reason is cervical cancer.
Even though fatigue can be caused by several other reasons in women, but if you experience exhaustion accompanied by other symptoms that we have discussed that get yourself examined.
An anemic response can be warning signs of cervical cancer and shouldn’t be ignored.
6. Pain while Urinating:
One of the most obvious reasons for discomfort and pain while urinating can be cervical cancer. Women experience a burning sensation while urinating.
These symptoms include pain as well generally appear when cancer has developed into advances stages.
There can be other reasons for such discomfort like urinary tract infection, STDs, etc. but it is always better to get checked to avoid any further damage.
7. Pain in Legs:
When cancer grows in a women’s body and gets more advanced, it starts pressing against the nerves of the pelvic walls. This can lead to swelling and pain in the legs.
Although this kind of pain can be caused by other reasons as well, if you notice sudden pain with other symptoms, then contact a doctor.
8. Unexplained Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite:
An unexplained and sudden weight loss is a common symptom in many kinds of cancers. When cancer grows in the body, the immune system tries to fight it off by producing cytokines.
Cytokines are proteins that are responsible for breaking down fat in the body. This causes weight loss even if you are eating normally.
If regardless of how much you eat, you keep losing weight and lose appetite too, then it can be a problem.
If you have lost weight suddenly and it is happening continuously along with other symptoms, then consult a doctor.
9. Longer and Heaving Menstrual Periods:
Normal menstrual periods can last from 4-7 days in women. However, if you experience heavier flow and longer menstrual periods, then it can be a signs of cervical cancer.
If you are getting heavy bleeding and have to change your sanitary pads every couple of hours, then get yourself examined immediately.
Apart from cancer, unusual menstrual periods can be caused by hormonal imbalance, pelvic inflammatory diseases or kidney diseases too but any changes in your regular periods should be discussed with a doctor.
10. Change in Bowel Movements:
If this symptom prolongs more than a week, then get an examination done by the doctor.
Always remember prevention is better than cure. If you have been facing these warning signs, then do not wait to see a doctor.