When you know that you have to watch out for these signs, you will be able to get yourself the right treatment at the right time.
Cancer has grown to become one of the most feared diseases even in the smallest corners of the world. But despite this, people often ignore the warning signs and fail to get the right treatment in time. The longer it takes to detect a tumor, bigger is the threat to your life. But when you know the symptoms, you know what to watch out for and you can get it diagnosed before it develops into more severe stages.
When it comes to women, ovarian and breast cancers are the ones more commonly discussed. But when it comes to gynecologic cancers of reproductive organs in women, cervical cancer, too, is something to watch out for. The lower and narrow end of your uterus is known as the cervix, and when cancer originates in this area, it is known as cervical cancer.
Women generally don't notice or have symptoms when you're in the stages of pre-cancer or early cervical cancer. You are most likely to notice some of the symptoms when cancer starts growing, according to the American Cancer Society. It is estimated that in America, roughly 13,170 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed, while roughly 4,250 women will lose their lives to cervical cancer.
When you notice any of these signs, it's important to act quickly and seek medical help. If not cervical cancer, they could be symptoms of other serious medical conditions that could have a huge impact on your reproductive health.
It is common for women to notice some amount of vaginal discharge on a regular basis. But the moment you notice something different or something that is out of the ordinary, it could be a symptom of something severe like cervical cancer. If it is a result of cervical cancer, you might notice that the discharge is slightly watery and it might even have an unpleasant odor. You might notice that it is pink or brown in color, and could even appear with a few drops of blood.
The discharge could be because "masses and tumors secrete fluid, that could contribute to a continuous, watery discharge that seems to occur for no reason," said Eloise Chapman-Davis, M.D., a gynecological oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, according to Women's Health.
If you notice any kind of bleeding that doesn't normally occur, the best thing for you to do is to ask your gynecologist if there's anything you need to worry about. In the case of cervical cancer, you might notice abnormal bleeding from the vagina that is not connected to your periods. You might notice bleeding as a result of sexual intercourse or douching, or perhaps even spots of blood between your periods. In some cases, women even experience bleeding after they have crossed menopause.
An unexpected or abnormal change in your periods could also be a warning sign for cervical cancer. If you observe that your periods have been lasting longer than they usually do or go on for more days than usual, it could point towards cervical cancer. What you might also notice is that there is a change in flow or that your periods are much heavier than they normally are.
As cancer develops in your body, it could cause some amount of pain in the region. Cervical cancer could make you experience pain in the pelvic region. You might even experience some amount of pain in your legs and in your back. However, Chapman-Davis mentioned that back pain or leg pain are “...typically associated with very advanced cases because the cervix isn’t really affecting a lot of nerves.”
One of the common signs of cancer is the constant feeling of nausea or wanting to puke all the time. If cancer begins to grow in your cervix, it could progress and swell into your abdominal cavity. When this happens, your gastrointestinal tract might start compressing and your stomach might even under acid reflux. However, since this is a more advanced sign of cervical cancer, it's best to check with your physician about what might be causing constant nausea.
When cervical cancer starts advancing to more severe stages, it could even be the reason why you have been experiencing unexplained weight loss, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)
If cervical cancer goes undetected, it can spread to your lymph nodes and even progress to other parts of your body. When this happens, you might also notice symptoms like fatigue, swelling of your legs, and bone fractures. According to cancercenter.com, you might also notice that your vagina is unable to control urine like before and starts leaking urine.