Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. It is most commonly caused by HPV, which is sexually transmitted infection and can be very contagious.
The HPV infection may disappear on its own or could cause abnormal cell growth that may lead to cervical cancer. It is very important to prevent and detect early symptoms of cervical cancer.
As opposed to breast cancer, cervical cancer signs are no so obvious and apparent. However, there are several signs which can help in the early detection of cervical cancer. You should contact a gynecologist immediately if you notice:
1. UNUSUAL DISCHARGE
This is a common symptom of cervical cancer. When the cancer begins to grow inside the cervix, the cells of the uterine lining start secreting watery discharge.
According to gynecologist Rosa Maria Leme, “The appearance of small warts (externally or internally) serve as a red flag…diseases such as HPV, which can greatly increase the chances of cervical cancer in women.”
3. PAIN OR BLEEDING
Cervical cancer grows on the walls of the cervix, which can dry out and even crack. Thus causing discomfort and bleeding. Moreover, rectal and bladder bleeding can appear. In you experience any bleeding outside the menstrual period, pay your gynechlogist a visit.
If you experience the symptoms of anemia, such as: fatigue and hypertension. Anemia can be caused by abnormal bleeding, which often accompanies cervical cancer.
5. URINARY PROBLEMS
As the cervix swells, the bladder and kidneys may be compressed. This may lead to the obstruction of the urine passage. As a result, you may not be able to completely empty your bladder, causing pain and/or a urinary tract infection.
6. CONTINUOUS PAIN IN THE LEGS, HIPS OR BACK
The swelling cervix compresses internal organs. Moreover, the blood vessels may also be compressed and impede the blood to reach the pelvis and legs, causing pain and swelling in the legs and ankles.
7. WEIGHT LOSS
When the cervix swells a compression of the stomach can result in decreased appetite and weight loss.
Please note that these symptoms do not necessarily signify cervical cancer. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis. There are risk factors for developing HPV, and can be contracted by both men and women.
RISK FACTORS FOR CERVICAL CANCER
– Smoking or breathing in second-hand smoke
– Multiple sexual partners
– Unprotected sex
– Low immunity
It is recommended to do a regular Papanicolaou test, as a method of cervical screening used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the cervix.