Cervical cancer is something that unless detected and treated early can lead to life threatening conditions. We all know about pap tests, but did you also know the pap test may not detect some cases of abnormal cells in the cervix. So, we should get familiar with cervical cancer symptoms, and how to spot them. There are early warning signs that will help spot the cancer before it spreads, and there are also signs of advanced cervical cancer that can be life threatening. We will go over this and other information about cervical cancer in the following article titled What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vag.na. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, the body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells. Women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. Symptoms often do not begin until the cancer becomes larger and grows into nearby tissue.
There are some early warning signs of cervical cancer that you can look out for including abnormal vag.n.l bleeding, such as bleeding after vag.na s.x, bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods, or having (menstrual) periods that are longer or heavier than usual. Bleeding after douching may also occur. Also look for an unusual discharge from the vag.na − the discharge may contain some blood and may occur between your periods or after menopause. Another common symptom that could mean cervical cancer is pain during sex. And, and pain in the pelvic region should alert you to the possibility of cervical cancer. If you experience any of the above symptoms you may be in the early stages of cervical cancer. It is imperative that you alert your doctor or medical provider immediately.
The next subject we need to talk about regarding cervical cancer is the late stage symptoms, and what to look for. Finding out you have late stage cervical cancer can be devastating news, but treatments do exist, and doctors have had some success in helping patients that get this diagnosis. Some things to look for that can indicate late stage cervical cancer are weight loss, whether sudden or gradual. Fatigue and back pain can also be an example of something to watch for if you have any suspicion of cervical cancer. Leg pain or swelling, or pains in the leg are also symptoms of late stage cervical cancer. Leakage of urine or feces from the vag.na should alarm anyone enough to seek help, but this may be a symptom as well. And, lastly, and bone fractures that may occur in tandem with any of the other symptoms could be a sign of cervical cancer.
A pap smear is a test doctors use to diagnose cervical cancer. To perform this test, your doctor collects a sample of cells from the surface of your cervix. These cells are then sent to a lab to be tested for precancerous or cancerous changes. Women are suggested to start these tests as early as age 21. Although screening methods are not 100 percent accurate, these tests are often an effective method for detecting cervical cancer in the early stages when it is still highly treatable. Also, be sure to ask your doctor for a pap smear test if one is not already automatically part of your yearly exam. Looking out for the early and even late stage symptoms of cervical cancer is your responsibility for you and your family’s peace of mind. Now that you are aware of these symptoms I hope you can detect any early signs of trouble, and go on to live a happy and healthy life.