Cervical cancer in the early stages is often asymptomatic. Some of the most common symptoms that can occur due to cervical cancer include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding - between menstrual cycles, after menopause, after sex.
- Any bleeding post-menopause.
- Continuous vaginal discharge - may be watery, pale, pink, brown, bloody, or bad smelling.
- Periods that are heavier or longer in duration.
Advanced cervical cancer may have the following symptoms:
- Back pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Bone fractures
- Leg pain
- Suppressed appetite
- Leaking of urine or feces
- Pelvic pain
- Weight loss
- Swelling in one leg
One less common yet potential symptom of cervical cancer is pain during urination. If a woman experiences bladder pain or pain during urination, it could be a possible symptom of cervical cancer in advanced stages. This is a symptom of cervical cancer that most often occurs if the cancer has already spread to the bladder.
Additionally, pelvic pain unrelated to the menstrual cycle could be a symptom of cervical cancer. This pain is often described by women with cervical cancer as a dull ache ranging to a sharp pain for several hours.
However, common infections and other health issues could also cause many of these symptoms. Only a doctor will be able to detect and diagnose cervical cancer. If a woman experiences any of the above symptoms, she should make an appointment with her doctor right away to diagnose and treat any medical issues.
Many women make the mistake of confusing cervical cancer symptoms with PMS or pain related to ovulation. In many cases, cervical cancer does not cause any symptoms and can easily go undetected if a woman does not have a routine Pap smear.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms: When to See a Doctor
The most common symptom associated with cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. This is characterized as any type of vaginal bleeding that occurs other than during menstruation. In most cases, cervical cancer will not cause any pain whatsoever, unless it has advanced to later stages.
There are a number of other medical conditions that could also cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, ranging from mild to serious. These medical conditions could be based on fertility, age, and personal medical history.
Bear in mind that vaginal bleeding after menopause is never a normal occurrence. If a woman has already gone through menopause and experiences vaginal bleeding, she must see her doctor as quickly as possible to check for cervical cancer or another underlying condition.
Although some women do experience bleeding after sex, women should see their gynecologist if this happens repeatedly. If bleeding after sex happens on occasion, it is often normal and does not pose a health risk.
All women should schedule regular doctor’s appointments for cervical cancer screenings. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women visit their gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15 or before that time if they are sexually active. This is the opportunity for women to discuss their sexual history and find out the best ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, which could lead to HPV and increase the risk of cervical cancer.
|Cancer||Causes and Risks||Symptoms||Diagnosis||Treatment|
|Endometrial Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Cervical Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Ovarian Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Breast Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Colon Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
Source: "Cervical cancer: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.