Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. It occurs in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer most of the times is caused by HPV virus or human papillomavirus.
Cervical cancer targets women of all ages and the risk of cervical cancer starts after they start having intercourse.
Risk factors are the following: unsafe sex, multiple sex partners, poor immunity, smoking, genetics, multiple pregnancies and first pregnancy at a young age.
The scary part about cervical cancer is that it doesn’t show any symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms start manifesting after cancer has spread to the bladder, intestines, liver or lungs.
As it goes for any cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the better and higher are the chances of treating it.
Below is a list of 10 symptoms of cancer that can help diagnosing it sooner.
- Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding can occur from inflammations, infections hormonal imbalance or many other conditions. However, an untimely bout of vaginal bleeding can be a sign of cervical cancer. Most if the patients diagnosed with cervical cancer have experienced irregular bleeding.
New and abnormal capillaries are created after cancer starts spreading. Capillaries that can break easily and cause this bleeding. The bleeding can occur between menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, after a pelvic exam or after menopause.
- Unusual Vaginal Discharge
Unusual vaginal discharge or better said a discharge that might differ by smelling foul or having an irregular appearance. Women with cervical cancer have experienced vaginal discharge that was pale, brown, heavier, watery or mixed with blood.
- Pain during Intercourse
Even though it can be caused by infections, STD’s or many different problems, painful intercourse can be a symptom of advanced cervical cancer and should not be overlooked. Besides feeling a pain you may also experience the above mentioned unusual vaginal discharge.
- Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is commonly known among women. During the menstrual cycle, most women experience cramps and aches. However, women with cervical cancer in advanced stages have experienced severe pain, pain that lasts longer and occurs on more frequent basis. The pain tends to happen at any given time and any given date. As we said this type of pain usually occurs in an advanced stage.
- Discomfort while Urinating
Women with cervical cancer have experienced discomfort during urination. Urinary discomforts can vary from burning, stinging to a tight sensation. This is, in fact, one of the most obvious symptoms of cervical cancer. However, urinary discomforts can also be caused by other causes, such as a urinary tract infection, yeast infection, bladder problem and/or STD.
- Heavier and Longer Menstrual Periods
Menstrual periods that are heavier and longer than normal are another common warning sign of cervical cancer. This problem can be caused by the spread of cervical cancer. However, heavy bleeding can happen because of hormonal imbalance, polyps, fibroids, inflammations, liver or kidney disease, or due to some medications.
- Loss of Bladder Control
Bladder control becomes the primary issue with women suffering from cervical cancer. This actually indicates that cancer has spread beyond a localized area and is affecting the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. Women diagnosed cervical cancer experience loss of bladder control combined with blood in the urine.
- Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained or dramatic weight loss is one of the indicators to many types of cancer. When cancer appears, our immune system works extremely hard to fight it. In the process our body produces cytokines. They are very small proteins which are burning fat with higher than normal rate, thus leading to weight-loss. There are a couple of researches to prevent and treat cervical cancer with supplementary cytokines. In any case, it would be wise to get more information on the unexpected weight loss
- Constant Fatigue
If you are feeling low or lacking energy most of the time, despite resting, it could be a cause for concern. When suffering from cancer, healthy red blood cells are being replaced by white blood cells in order to fight off the disease which can represent anemia of RBC. Because of the anemia, chronic fatigue and loss of appetite appear. Red blood cells are our oxygen carriers and now their numbers are decreased, thus, oxygen deprivation in the cells appears. However, the decrease of RBC and increase of WBC appears whenever we get any inflammation or infection. After all, it is our body’s natural response in order to fight off any inflammation or worse. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing the above mentioned chronic fatigue you should contact your MD.
- Leg Pain
Women diagnosed with cervical cancer often experience swelling and pain in their legs due to the obstruction of blood flow. Swollen legs often create a sore, painful sensation, making it hard to carry out your daily activities. When this pain is caused by cervical cancer it tends to be constant and increases in intensity over time. Some back pain might also appear.
Should you notice and of the above-mentioned symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your MD for more information or further evaluations.