7 Cervical Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, second only to heart disease. Approximately 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Cervical cancer is a deadly disease that affects the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Although the prevalence of this disease has decreased significantly over the past 40 years due to increased awareness and Pap smears, it remains a concern for many. Pap smears and other screening tests can help prevent and detect cervical cancer early.
The importance of cervical cancer prevention should not be overlooked by you or your loved ones. Cervical cancer symptoms often appear later in the course of the disease, but being aware of these symptoms can increase your chances of successful treatment. Take cancer prevention into your own hands today. Below we have compiled a list of common cervical cancer symptoms that you should watch out for.
Early signs of cervical cancer
Pelvic or abdominal pain
A common symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal pelvic or abdominal pain. For those wondering, any discomfort below your belly button down your leg is considered pelvic pain. If the problem doesn’t go away or gets progressively worse, it’s worth consulting.
Although this is a natural occurrence every month, spotting and abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods can be a cause for concern. Note that although this is not a clear sign of a serious problem, irregular vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of cervical cancer and should not be ignored.
Like vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge can occur for many reasons – both toxic and natural. A normal bacterial imbalance or antibiotic treatment can lead to sudden discharge. Different colors, smells, and textures can have different causes, but brown or bloody discharge accompanied by abnormal vaginal bleeding and/or pelvic pain is a red flag for cervical cancer.
Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer
Lower back pain
Cervical cancer mainly affects women between the ages of 35 and 44, but any age post-puberty is vulnerable. Persistent pain in the lower back and around the pelvis is one of the easiest symptoms to overlook. Care should be taken if the condition persists for more than a week or does not respond to conventional care.
Unusual urinary symptoms
Urgency, increased frequency of urination, or blood in the urine are causes for concern. If symptoms occur more than 12 times a month, be proactive and make an appointment.
Discomfort during intercourse
Cervical cancer can affect your sex life. If you experience any unusual pain or discomfort during intercourse, schedule a visit. Bleeding during and after intercourse is an additional red flag.
The role of HPV in cervical cancer
Cervical cancer affects only women, but prevention of this disease applies to both men and women. Human papillomavirus (HPV), which is found in almost all cases of cervical cancer, is the biggest cause of the disease. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and, if left untreated, can lead to many other types of genital cancer. Ask us about safe sex or recommended vaccines to prevent HPV infection.
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Early detection of cervical cancer significantly reduces the chances of it spreading to other organs. The earlier cervical cancer is detected, the more likely treatment is to be successful. If symptoms persist, you should be warned to stop and get checked out. For more information about cervical cancer symptoms or to find the best cancer screening schedule for you, please contact us through our website or call us at (973) 968-4611. Help improve cervical cancer survival rates today and visit New Jersey’s top gynecologists.