Although the percentage of deaths caused by cervical cancer is not small, statistics show that this type of cancer can be prevented if noticed in its early phase. Cervical cancer is usually caused by HPV, which is highly contagious. This virus is a sexually transmitted infection and it has several types.
Sometimes, this infection can cause abnormal cell growth which usually leads to cervical cancer. The most common risk factors for this type of cancer are smoking and passive smoking, multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex, poor immunity, etc.
The early symptoms of this cancer in women aren’t as noticeable as the signs of breast cancer, but they certainly exist. You just need to listen to your body. Let’s take a look:
- Unusual discharge-when cancer begins spreading in the cervix, the uterine wall cells begin to rid, producing a watery discharge.
- Warts-gynecologist Rosa Maria Leme explains that the occurrence of smaller warts, internally or externally, is a potential symptom of illnesses like HPV, which can increase the possibility for cervical cancer.
- Bleeding and pain-since cervical cancer grows on the cervix walls, it can dry off and crack, thus cause discomfort and rectal or bladder bleeding. Always consult your physician if you notice any kind of bleeding outside your menstrual period.
- Anemia-if your heart speeds after normal exertion or if you constantly feel tired, you might be anemic. In a lot of cases, anemia is caused by excessive bleeding- often accompanied by cervical cancer.
- Problems with urination-when the cervix swells, the kidneys and the bladder are pressured, and thus, proper urine flow is obstructed. Hence, you will be unable to urinate completely, which can cause pain or UTI.
- Pain in the legs, back, and hips– the swelling of the cervix pressures the internal organs as well. Moreover, the blood vessels may also be pressured, which further impedes the blood flow to the pelvis and legs. This usually manifests through pain and swelling in the ankles and legs.
- Unexplained weight loss-a lot of cancer types reduce the appetite. Very often, a swollen cervix can compress the stomach and, as a consequence, you might feel a reduced appetite and unexplained weight loss.
All in all, it’s important to note that these symptoms don’t always indicate cervical cancer and only a professional can make a diagnosis.