According to estimates from the American Cancer Society, about 12,800 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2017 and about 4,000 women will die from the disease.
Typically, women don’t notice cervical cancer symptoms until an advanced stage. Recognizing cervical cancer symptoms may help detect it early, when it’s most treatable.
1) Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
The first noticeable system of cervical cancer is usually abnormal vaginal bleeding. This includes abnormal periods, bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse, after menopause, and after a pelvic exam.
When cervical cancer grows around the cervix’s perimeter, the edges can become dry and cracked. Things like simply walking or sex can rip open the cracks and cause bleeding, explained WomensHealthMag.com.
2) Bladder or Rectal Bleeding
If the cervix swells, the bladder and rectum get crowded, causing those tissues to tear.
3) Unexplained Weight Loss
When defending itself from infection, the body produces cytokines. These proteins break down fat and protein. With cancer, too, many cytokines are created and break down fat and proteins much faster than normal.
4) Unusual Vaginal Discharge
Cancer often grows inside the opening to the cervix. The cells around the cervical opening will come off, resulting in a foul smelling vaginal discharge. This discharge may be brown, pale or watery, or may contain blood.
5) Constant Fatigue
Abnormal vaginal bleeding has another adverse effect. It reduces oxygen and red blood cells in the body, leaving a women feeling constantly fatigued.
6) Leg Pain or Swelling
If the cervical cancer grows and moves to an advanced stage, it can press against the pelvic wall nerves. This can cause pain or swelling in the legs.
7) Back Pain
The cervix can swell and push against nearby blood vessels when cervical cancer has advanced. Then the cervix can block blood flow from the legs to the rest of the body, resulting in pain, wrote WomensHealthMag.com. NHS.uk added that severe back pain can be caused by the kidneys swelling.
8) Pain and Discomfort During Sex
Painful sexual intercourse may result from tumor growth all over the reproductive organs and tissues, that comes from advanced cervical cancer.
9) Urinary Problems
Sometimes cervical cancer can block the kidneys and muscles whose job it is to push urine to the bladder. That can make urinating difficult.
Often symptoms appear when cervical cancer starts growing in nearby tissues. If you present any of the above symptoms, visit your doctor. They may not be cancer, but get them checked.
"Cervical Cancer - Symptoms." Cervical Cancer. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
"Don't Ignore These Cervical Cancer Warning Signs." Www.unitypoint.org/livewell/. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fetters, K. Aleisha. "The Signs of Cervical Cancer." Women's Health. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Nathan-Garner, Laura. "10 Cancer Symptoms Women Shouldn't Ignore." 10 Cancer Symptoms Women Shouldn't Ignore. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Reviewed January 7, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith