7 SIGNS OF CERVICAL CANCER
Even though this type of cancer does not have some obvious symptoms like breast cancer does, it can still be detected early if one knows what signs to look for.
If you have any of the following symptoms, visit a gynecologist right away.
1. Unusual discharge
The unusual discharge is one of the commonest symptoms of cervical cancer as once the cancer begins growing inside the cervix, the cells of the uterine lining begin secreting watery discharge.
According to Rosa Maria Leme, a gynecologist, the appearance of small warts (external or internal) is a red flag for some diseases, including HPV, which greatly raises the chances of cervical cancer in women.
3. Pain or bleeding
If you start feeling discomfort in the pelvic area or you notice bleeding, it may be a sign of cervical cancer, meaning that the walls of the cervix are dry or even cracked due to the abnormal cell growth. Sometimes, especially in the more advanced stages, rectal or bladder bleeding may appear. If you bleed beyond the menstrual period, you need to get an immediate medical help or consultation.
This is a common sign of cervical cancer, as anemia is often caused by excessive bleeding, another sign of this type of cancer. In case you start feeling constantly tired, or you notice that your heartbeat rate increases even at the slightest effort, and your eating habits have not changed, then you need to get tested for anemia and the reason that caused it in the first place.
5. Urinary problems
If you notice that you have difficulties while urinating, it can mean that you have developed cervical cancer, as this condition adds to swelling of the cervix, and then it presses the bladder and kidneys, impeding the passage of urine. As a result, the bladder becomes unable to get completely empty, and it causes pain while you urinate and/or a urinary tract infection.
6. Continuous pain in the legs, hips or back
When the cervix is swollen, the effects of it are noticeable on the integral organs in general, not only on the kidneys and the bladder. This condition can put pressure on the blood vessels and stop the blood flow to the pelvis and the legs, thus causing pain and swelling in the legs and ankles.
7. Weight loss
When one suffers from any type of cancer, they lose their appetite and weight. When one suffers from cervical cancer, their swollen cervix puts pressure on the stomach, and this leads to appetite and weight loss.
Note: everyone needs to keep in mind that the symptoms we just mentioned can also be produced by other conditions. Still, you are recommended to report them to your gynecologist, as this is essential for early detection.
The list of risk factors that can contribute to contracting an HPV infection often found in both men and women is long.
Still, here we present you the best-known risk factors for cervical cancer:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having unprotected sex
- Having weak immune system
- Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke
As we already mentioned at the beginning of the article, an HPV infection is the root cause of cervical cancer. This is why you need to be able to read the warning signs and symptoms of HPV, which is essential for this cancer. Every woman is recommended to make regular Pap smear tests once or twice a year, and thus increase their chances of early detection.
This is why no one should skip the visits to the gynecologist. They can be a life-saver!