Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in low- and middle-income countries. Out of 500,000 new cervical cancer cases diagnosed annually, about 83 per cent are from low- and middle-income countries.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancers among women. Lack of awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of cervical cancer may lead to delayed diagnosis and prognosis.
So, in this article, we will talk about the symptoms of cervical cancer that will help you in the early detection of the disease.
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer In Women
1. Vaginal bleeding
A common symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which usually happens when the cancer has spread to the nearby tissues. Consider consulting a doctor when you experience heavy periods, longer menstrual periods, bleeding between menstrual periods, bleeding after menopause, bleeding after sexual intercourse and bleeding after pelvic exam .
2. Pain during sexual intercourse
Women who have an advanced stage of cervical cancer experience pain while having sex. This happens due to the growth of the tumour nearby the tissues and reproductive organs.
3. Vaginal discharge
Foul-smelling vaginal discharge is an early symptom of cervical cancer. This unusual vaginal discharge may contain some blood and can either occur between your periods or after menopause. The vaginal discharge may be pale white, pink, brown or reddish in colour .
4. Back pain
Lower back pain or pelvic pain is a common symptom of cervical cancer. When lower back pain occurs, the pain is continuous and unbearable.
5. Loss of appetite
Most women with cervical cancer don't feel hungry and this leads to unexplained weight loss. Sometimes, no matter how much food you consume; weight loss is a common occurrence in women with cervical cancer.
6. Leg pain
Another symptom of cervical cancer is leg pain. When the cancer is in its advanced stage, the tumour may start to press against the nerves in the legs, resulting in swelling and leg pain.
7. Difficulty in urinating
The cervix is located right below the bladder and so an abnormal tumour growth will have a direct impact on the bladder making it difficult to do its job. So, while you urinate, it causes pain and discomfort.
8. Bone pain
Cervical cancer may spread to the bones and this can cause bone pain. Bone pain usually occurs at night and it is characterized by a stabbing pain. Gradually, your bones may become weaker and are more likely to break .
Other signs of cervical cancer include fatigue, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood.