Cervical Cancer Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of cervical cancer vary according to the stage of the cancer. In the early stages, there are generally very few symptoms. This is why regular screening is so important, as it is all too easy for the cancer to advance undetected.
Why There Are Few Early Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
One of the reasons why this disease is so asymptomatic is because of how it grows. It develops slowly, and it is deep inside the body, where there are few feelings. The direct effects of the dysplasia are often not noticed, unless the cancer develops next to a strong blood supply, which can lead to unusual bleeding. As the disease progresses, however, symptoms start to become more apparent. Unfortunately, it is often much more difficult to treat the cancer at that point.
Later Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
Some of the most common things to look out for include:
1. Vaginal bleeding, which is often unusual and quite random. It often happens after sexual intercourse, after menopause, or between regular periods.
2. Vaginal discharge, which is different in appearance, color, or odor to the normal secretions. It is often watery and bloody with a thick consistency, and it smells quite unpleasant.
3. Painful intercourse, including sudden pelvic pain.
Once the cancer reaches more advanced stages, some of the common signs and symptoms include:
1. Back pain, as it is quite closely connected to the cervix
2. Bone fractures, which means the cancer is very advanced and the body has become weak
3. Swollen lymph nodes, if the cancer has started to spread.
4. Overall fatigue, which cannot be explained
5. Loss of appetite, which generally means the body’s homeostasis has been disrupted
6. Significant weight loss
7. Fecal matter and urine coming out of the vagina, which is a very serious symptom and requires immediate medical attention
8. Swollen legs or pain the leg, which generally appears together with other symptoms
It is very important to remain calm should you experience any of the symptoms described above. Each symptom on its own does not necessarily mean that you are in an advanced stage of cervical cancer, or even that you have cancer at all. Rather, it means that you need to have a physician investigate what is going on. The sooner you do this, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful as well.