8 Signs Of Cervical Cancer That Women Need To Observe

Cervical cancer is completely treatable and preventable, but only if detected early on in its development. Tests such as pap smears have helped bring down the number of deaths attributed to this sexually transmitted infection; yet the ignorance of early warning signs leads to many deaths- deaths which can be completely avoided with just a little bit of information and vigilance.

Cervical cancer is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus, which comes in many types and few of which cause cancer. The symptoms of this disease are a lot more subtle than some other cancers, but can be clearly spotted nonetheless to save lives. Here are 8 signs of cervical cancer that women need to observe and watch out for.

1. Unusual Bleeding

The most common of all early onset symptoms, unusual bleeding between menstrual cycles or following sexual intercourse can signal trouble. This symptom becomes even more important in post-menopausal women.

2. Unusual Discharge

It is normal for women to have a nominal amount of clear and odorless discharge. But watch out for foul smelling and irregular looking discharge, particularly if it is increased in output as this could be an early sign of cervical cancer.

3. Pain in the Legs and Lower Back

With swelling up of the cervix, blood flow to the legs and lower back can get obstructed. Tis often results in pain and swelling in the legs and lower back with a sore, painful sensation. Swollen ankles and pain in the hips too can be attributed to this factor and must not be ignored.

4. Pelvic Pain

Cramps and pain in the pelvis is not unusual for women, especially at certain points of their menstrual cycle. But if this pain is more acute or frequent, lasts longer than usual, or comes at a strange point in your cycle, then you are better off booking a checkup with your doctor.

5. Uncomfortable Sex

Painful sex, referred to as dyspareunia, is a common side effect of cervical cancer and can be attributed to the swelling and discomfort caused by the infection, as well as other medical conditions associated with it. If you are experiencing uncomfortable or painful sex, waste no time in getting a thorough check up.

6. Discomfort in Urination

Urinary symptoms indicate that the cancer has spread to a nearby tissue and must not be ignored. Stinging sensations or other discomfort when passing urine is a clear sign or trouble, as is irregular urinary habits such as incontinence, change of frequency and discoloration (especially with blood).

7. Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Your menstrual cycle can directly reflect the rhythms and state of your body, and as such cervical cancer can cause fluctuations and disruptions in it. Any marked inconsistencies can be a sign of cervical cancer and are best not ignored.

8. Undue Loss of Weight and Fatigue

Coupled with the other signs listed above, drastic and unexplained weight loss and fatigue can signal cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can cause a rise in white blood cell count to fight the infection; this can be accompanied by a drop in the red blood cell count in the blood, leading to anemia and resulting in a lack of energy or appetite, weight loss and fatigue.

What Is Gynecologic Cancer? The 5 Most Common Ones Women Are At Risk From

There are many reasons as to why a woman might be prone to developing a gynecologic cancer; however, research does indicate that some classes of genes (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) may become damaged (through smoking, aging, environmental influences, or inheritance) and result in the uncontrolled spread and growth of abnormal cells.

This spread of abnormal cells, originates from the female reproductive organs: the cervix, the ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the vagina, and the vulva. And although there are five common types of gynecologic cancers that women suffer from: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulva cancer, a sixth and very rare fallopian tube cancer also exists.

1. Cervical Cancer – begins in the lower, narrow end of the uterus which connects to the top end of the vagina. Usually caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer tends to affect women mainly in their 30’s or over. When diagnosed early, cervical cancer is highly treatable, thus resulting in a high survival rate.

2. Ovarian Cancer – begins in the ovaries, which are located each side of the uterus, and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer associated with the female reproductive system. Although, when caught at an early stage, ovarian cancer treatments tend to be quite effective.

3. Uterine Cancer – begins in the uterus, which is the pear-shaped organ found in the woman’s pelvis, and where the baby grows while a woman is pregnant. Although the risk of being diagnosed with uterine cancer grows with age (after the menopause), all women are at risk from it.

4. Vaginal Cancer – begins in the vagina, the hollow, tube-like channel situated at the bottom of the uterus, that runs through to the outside of the body. Although virginal cancer is considered rare in most women, all women are actually at risk from it.

5. Vulva Cancer – begins in the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organ (rather like the foreskin of a male penis), and when put together with virginal cancer, accounts for between 6% – 7% of all gynecologic cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S.

There exists a sixth gynecologic cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer that begins in the fallopian tubes which connect the ovaries to the uterus; although, this type of cancer is so rear, it is hardly ever spoken about.

Each gynecologic cancer has its own unique set of signs and symptoms, together with risk factors (chances of developing the disease) and prevention strategies. Although in general, when common gynecologic cancers are diagnosed at an early stage (because frequent screening is recommended), most can be treated quite effectively.