Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
It is one of the most common cancers among women in the world, in fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 12,900 new cases will be diagnosed and about 4,100 w0men will die from the disease in 2015.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), which every woman is at risk of getting once she has sex.
What makes the cancer so scary is the fact that there aren’t any symptoms in the early stages of its development, but they become more distinct once it has spread to the liver, intestines, bladder or lungs. Luckily, with Pap tests and HPV vaccinations, the detecting, treating and even the prevention of the cancer is possible.
It helps if you know what to look for in order to determine the warning signs and if you need to be seen for cervical cancer. Here are ten symptoms that may not mean you have cancer, but still, you shouldn’t overlook them.
There are multiple causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding including pelvic inflammatory disease, hormonal imbalances or an infection in the pelvic organs, however, most women who have cervical cancer experience abnormal bleeding.
As the cancer spreads, it creates abnormal capillaries that break and cause bleeding that can happen after sex, between periods, after a pelvic exam or even after menopause.
2. Unusual discharge.
Odorless and clear discharge is normal, but if it smells foul, is heavy, pale, watery, brown or mixed with blood you need to contact your doctor.
3. Pain during intercourse.
This particular symptom occurs when the cancer is more advanced, meaning it has spread throughout the tissue and reproductive organs. Aside from feeling pain, you may notice thick and foul-smelling discharge. There are other issues that may be the cause of this symptom, including an STD or an infection.
4. Pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain is something every woman experiences at some point. PMS makes sure we get our fill of cramps and aches, but if it lasts for an extended amount of time and becomes frequent, it could be an indication of cervical cancer. This symptom also occurs when the cancer has advanced, and can occur anytime during the month.
5. Discomfort while urinating.
This is one of the most obvious signs of having cervical cancer. Discomfort can include burning, stinging or even a tight sensation. It requires immediate attention because it indicates the cancer has spread to nearby tissue.
Urinary discomfort can also be an indication of a urinary tract infection, STD, yeast infection or a bladder problem.
6. Heavier and longer periods.
Irritation of the cervix can cause periods to be heavier and longer than normal, indicating cervical cancer. By heavy, we are talking changing your tampons or pads every 2 hours. Heavy bleeding can also be due to hormonal imbalances, fibrosis, polyps, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or thyroid, liver or kidney disease. Even certain medications can cause this symptom.
7. Loss of bladder control.
8. Unexplained weight loss.
9. Constant fatigue.
Many people feel tired after a busy day, but if you can’t shake the feeling of always being tired, even after you have rested, this could indicate cervical cancer. The reason behind the fatigue is the red blood cells that are being replaced by white blood cells to fight off the cancer, which leads to anemia which causes fatigue and lack of an appetite. Aside from that, there is also a decrease in the oxygen supply to the blood.
10. Leg pain.
Cervical cancer often causes pain and swelling in the legs. This is because when the cancer spreads, it obstructs the blood flow and that causes the swelling. When the legs are swollen they become sore and painful to the point of making day-to-day activities difficult to carry out.
When caused by cervical cancer, pain in the legs is usually constant and will increase in intensity. If you are just experiencing leg pain it does not mean you have cancer. If you have it for a few weeks with a few of the other symptoms then you should be checked for cervical cancer.
- Women between the ages of 20-30 should be screened every 3 years.
- Women 30-65 should be screened every 3-5 years.
- Get an HPV vaccination.
- Don’t smoke.
- Take the necessary steps to avoid STD’s.
Always remember to consult your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
Via : top10homeremedies