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Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Learn about cervical cancer symptoms: abnormal bleeding, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, and discomfort during intercourse. Recognize early signs for timely diagnosis.

  • 06 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Affecting the cervix, a study found India to have the largest number of cervical cancer cases in Asia. Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, an essential part of cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment is understanding its symptoms. What are these? Let’s find out.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In its early stages, cervical cancer doesn’t have any symptoms. They become visible only at a later stage. Also, most symptoms can be easily mistaken for conditions like urinary tract infections and menstrual periods. The typical symptoms of cervical cancer are as follows:

● Unusual bleeding

Abnormal bleeding occurring between regular menstrual periods after intercourse or post-menopause is an indicator of cervical cancer. While bleeding during a regular menstrual cycle is normal, frequent intermenstrual bleeding warrants investigation. Also, recurrent bleeding after sexual activity can indicate abnormalities or cancerous growth. At the same time, post-menopausal bleeding is abnormal and should be promptly investigated.

● Vaginal discharge (watery and bloody) with a foul smell

This is another symptom of cervical cancer. If you notice this type of discharge, it can indicate several possible issues within the cervix, one of which is the presence of abnormal cells with cervical cancer. Note that cervical cancer develops from precancerous changes in the linings of the cells in the cervix.

The medical terms doctors use to describe them are cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), and dysplasia. Watery and bloody discharge accompanied by a foul smell may occur as a result of tissue breakdown within the cancerous growth.

● Pain in the pelvis

Another symptom of cervical cancer is pain in the pelvis. This pain can manifest in various ways and intensities depending on the stage and progression of the disease. The pain develops gradually and becomes more noticeable over time with the progression of the cancer. Its intensity may be mild to severe.

● Pain during intercourse

Cervical cancer can cause discomfort or pain during intercourse. This can happen because of physical changes in the cervix or pelvic region caused by the cancer. As the cancer spreads, it can lead to distortion in the vaginal canal, causing pain. Cancerous growths can also affect the nearby nerves, leading to pain and discomfort.

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In conclusion

If you notice any of these symptoms, get medical advice at the earliest. Prompt diagnosis and subsequent treatment go a long way in improving overall well-being and quality of life.

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