By the end of this article, you will learn what are the signs of cervical cancer that should ring your bell and make you schedule a doctor appointment without delay. Read it carefully and think about it, this info may save your life someday (or the life of your beloved ones).
Bleeding between the periods
Any bleeding between the periods should be reported to doctor. Even if it is a small amount of blood- also known as spotting. Although the spotting is relatively common finding during pregnancy, this symptom in non-pregnant women should be carefully assessed. Cervical Cancer is not the only condition that can cause it. Hormonal contraceptive pills the first three months of use quite often have this side effect. Vaginal injuries are another common cause (rough sex). The point is- don’t panic and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Bleeding after menopause
Once the reproductive period is over, menopause occurs. Although it’s normal to have spotting during this transitional period of the woman’s genital health, once it’s over any kind of bleeding has to be examined, no matter if it’s a high volume bleeding or just spotting.
Every woman knows her period and vaginal discharge characteristics. Having vaginal discharge is normal since it has an important role in maintaining sexual health in women. The discharge characteristics vary among women and it’s practically impossible to describe how exactly it should look like. Changes in usual color, odor, volume and overall appearance need to be assessed by a medical professional.
Painful intercourse is not necessarily a sign of a disease. Intercourse will be painful if the vagina is not lubricated well or in case of chronic inflammatory conditions in the lower abdomen. The most common cause of painful intercourse is vaginal injury due to a harsh intercourse. After the menopause, vaginal lubrication is not as voluminous as it used to be during the reproductive period, so using lubrication may resolve the problem. If the pain increases as the time pass by or you cannot explain it by a vaginal injury, you should contact your doctor for further assessment.
Bleeding after or during intercourse/douching
Episodes of “provoked bleeding” should not be ignored by any means! Unless your menstrual bleeding just ended or you are expecting it to start anytime soon, provoked bleeding needs to be medically examined.
Unusual menstrual bleeding duration
Slight changes in duration are not clinically relevant. Menstrual bleeding that’s longer than usual one for a day or two occasionally is no reason for concern, but if you notice that those become regularly unpredictable, a medical examination is absolutely needed! Hormonal contraceptive pills in the first three months of use will affect menstrual bleeding duration and that is normal. Just like all other symptoms listed above, this one can be caused by a number of conditions (not only Cervical Cancer), so don’t panic and call your doctor for advice.
Weight loss that you cannot explain (you are not trying to lose weight but you are losing it) is an unspecific sign of metabolic changes in the body that may be caused by cancer (among other conditions). How much is too much? A general rule is 10 pounds lost in 2 months, but this is just a rough recommendation and you ask your doctor for advice on that.
Just like weight loss, chronic fatigue has a number of causes. The vast majority of them are benign and easy to treat. If you don’t have an idea why do you feel fatigued and it lasts for long period of time, ask your doctor for opinion. In women, quite common cause is anemia (which can be easily treated by supplementing iron- the most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency).