Cervical Cancer SymptomsWhat are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
The cervix is the narrow neck of a woman's uterus, just above the vagina. Most cases of cervical cancers originate from surface cells lining the cervix. In some women, healthy cells enter an abnormal phase called dysplasia; although these cells are not cancerous, they can become so. Following are the potential cervical cancer symptoms:
These cervical cancer symptoms may be actually caused by cancer or by other health problems. It is advised to consult a qualified doctor for verification. It is important for a woman to see her doctor if she is having any of these cervical cancer symptoms. Any vaginal bleeding after menopause should be brought to your doctor's attention right away. The cause may simply be vaginal dryness or a benign uterine polyp, but vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of cervical and uterine cancer. You should have a complete gynecological examination that includes a Pap smear.
- Precancerous changes of the cervix usually do not cause pain. In fact, they generally do not cause any symptoms and are not detected unless a woman has a pelvic exam and a Pap test.
- Abnormal cells found on the end of the cervix during a cervical smear test are generally at an "early warning" pre-cancer stage, and do not cause any symptoms. These early abnormal cells are called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Treating CIN prevents cancer developing.
- If abnormal cells do develop into cervical cancer, it can cause symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding such as between periods or after intercourse, vaginal bleeding after menopause, foul smelling vaginal discharge, persistent lower back pain, discomfort during intercourse. In the event of appearence of such cervical cancer symptoms, the woman should consult the doctor. Though these conditions usually may not be cervical cancer symptoms.
- Bleeding may start and stop between regular menstrual periods, or it may occur after sexual intercourse, douching, or a pelvic exam. Menstrual bleeding may last longer and be heavier than usual.
- If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues, symptoms may include difficult urination and possible kidney failure, blood in the urine, backache or swelling in the legs, diarrhea, or pain or bleeding from the rectum upon defecation. This may also result in fatigue, loss of appetite and loss of weight.
Summary of cervical cancer symptoms:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as between periods or after intercourse.
- Prolonged and heavy menstrual periods.
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between menstrual periods, or after menopause.
- Vaginal bleeding after the menopause.
- Smelly vaginal discharge.
- Discomfort during intercourse.
Other cervical cancer symptoms:
If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues, symptoms may include:
- Painful urination and possible kidney failure.
- Blood in urine.
- Backache or swelling in the legs.
- Diarrhea, or pain or bleeding from the rectum upon defecation.
- Fatigue, loss of weight and appetite.
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