More than 40 years ago cervical cancer was a major cancer death risk for women. With the development of pap tests and in-depth recognition of warning signs those numbers are dropping significantly. We still aren’t completely safe however, as many thousands of American women are still affected by cervical cancer every year. Picking up on risk factors and warning signs could save an individual from a lifetime of suffering.
In the earliest stages of development, there is typically a frightening lack of visual and physical symptoms to foreshadow onset stages of cervical cancer. Many symptoms aren’t evident until the cancer has begun an invasive spread to surrounding tissue. Some of the most typical symptoms are as follows:
1. Leg Pain
Some women exhibiting early stages of cervical cancer experience swelling and pain in the leg. When the cervix swells it can lead to an obstructed blood flow, which eventually causes the leg to swell and gives a sore, painful sensation.
2. Vaginal Discharge
It’s normal for a woman to experience small amounts of clear discharge without color or odor. If the output of discharge increases, smells foul, or has any type of irregular appearance, it could be a sign of onsetcervical cancer.
3. Unusual Bleeding
Of all the symptoms, this is likely the most common. If a woman is experiencing an untimely bout of vaginal bleeding, it could be an indicator of cervical cancer. Consider contacting a physician if you experience persistent bleeding in between menstrual periods or following sexual intercourse. Women who are postmenopausal and no longer have periods should pay close attention to this symptom.
4. Discomforting Urination
Keeping track of urination can help reveal the presence of cervical cancer in several ways. The most immediately obvious and prevalent symptom is discomfort while urinating. This is normally described as a tight and concentrating stinging sensation, but it can take on several different discomforting sensations. Usually when urinary symptoms are involved, the cancer has spread to nearby tissue and requires immediate attention.
5. Irregular Urination
The appearance of the urine and urinary habits can also be symptoms of cervical cancer. If you notice strange changes in the frequency of your urine, loss of bladder control (incontinence) or a discoloration – especially with blood – seek the input of a medical professional.
6. Irregular Menstrual Cycles – There should be some level of consistency when it comes to monthly periods. If time, frequency, or any other changes disrupt the regular routine, it may be linked to a future with cervical cancer. Take note of any medication you are on and consult a physician if inconsistencies persist.
7. Uncomfortable Sex
Painful intercourse, otherwise known as dyspareunia, is another discomforting side effect of cervical cancer. There are several possible reasons for this symptom to develop, as is the case with many of the symptoms on this list. This symptom is most commonly linked to conditions that require medical attention, however, so it shouldn’t be ignored.
8. Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a fairly routine burden of being a woman. Cramping and aches during a menstrual cycle are perfectly normal, but when pain lasts for longer periods, happens frequently, or becomes more intense than usual it could beckon a look from the doctor.
9. Back Pain
Back pain is common, affecting around 80 percent of Americans, and it can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but if accompanied with other symptoms from the list, go for a medical check-up.
10.Unexplained Loss of Weight and Fatigue – Again, on its own, these symptoms can be a result of other factors, but when other symptoms are present, it should signal the need for a physical checkup.Cervical cancer can reduce the number of healthy red blood cells which are replaced by white blood cells that try fighting off the disease. This can cause anemia which typically causes the woman to feel unexplained fatigue, lack of energy, and can lead to weight loss due to a loss of appetite.
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