For the past 40 years or so, women were more at risk of acquiring cervical cancer. Fortunately, with creation of pap tests as well as recognizing various signs, the numbers have dropped significantly. However, not everyone is safe from this as thousands of women in the United States are still affected by this annually. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors can help save you from suffering.
It’s hard to notice any signs or symptoms during its earlier stages. Most of the symptoms don’t appear until the cancer has already spread to the tissues around it. Some of the common symptoms include:
1. Vaginal discharge.
It’s quite normal for women to have small amounts of colorless and odorless discharge but if the amount of discharge increases and is accompanied by a foul smell; it can be a sign of cervical cancer.
2. Discomfort during urination.
Paying attention to your urination can help detect cervical cancer in several ways. The most important symptom to determine is when you feel discomfort when you urinate. The best description for this is a concentrated stinging which can vary in terms of discomfort. When urinary symptoms appear it usually means that the cancer has affected the tissues nearby which means you need medical attention immediately.
3. Irregular menstrual cycles.
There should be some consistency with your monthly periods. If frequency, time, or other changes have disrupted your routine, chances are you might be at risk of suffering from cervical cancer. Consider any medications you’ve been taking and consult with your physician if irregularity is still experienced.
4. Pelvic pain.
Women tend to suffer from pelvic pain from time to time such as aches and cramps during their monthly period. However, if the pain lasts for a long time, the pain intensifies, or if it happens all the time then you need to consult with your doctor.
5. Unexplained fatigue and weight loss.
These symptoms may be caused by other factors but when there are other signs to be seen, you need to have a checkup. The number of healthy red blood cells may be reduced to cervical cancer where white blood cells take over to combat the disease. This can make you become anemic causing you to lose energy, weight loss, and unexplained fatigue.
6. Back pain.
This affects about 80% of Americans but when it is accompanied by other symptoms that are in this list, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
7. Uncomfortable sex.
Another side effect of cervical cancer is dyspareunia or pain during intercourse. There are many reasons for this symptom to appear just like others in this list but this symptom is often linked with health problems that need to be checked.
8. Irregular urination.
Urinary habits are also among the signs of having cervical cancer. If you pay attention to your urine and urinary habits and notice that you are losing control of your bladder, changes in how many times you urinate, and even discoloration or appearance of blood in your urine, you need to seek help fast.
9. Unusual bleeding.
This is the most common symptom of cervical cancer. Women who experience untimely bleeding it may indicate that she has cervical cancer. Visit your physician when you bleed even after your menstrual period or after you had sex. Postmenopausal women who experience this symptom should pay attention to this sign of cervical cancer.
10. Leg pain.
Pain and swelling in the legs are some of the earlier signs of cervical cancer. This can happen when the blood flow is obstructed due to the swelling in the cervix which can lead to the swelling of the legs as well as painful and sore sensation.
Keep these symptoms in mind when checking for cervical cancer. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep your annual checkup regardless of whether you experience any of these symptoms or not.