Cervical cancer attacks the cells in the cervix, gradually changing them. Since abnormal cervical cell changes rarely cause symptoms, it is important to have regular screening. If cervical cell changes progress to cervical cancer, symptoms may develop.
Symptoms of cervical cancer may include:
– Abnormal vaginal bleeding or a significant unexplained change in a woman’s menstrual cycle.
– Bleeding when something comes in contact with the cervix, such as during sexual intercourse or insertion of a diaphragm.
– Pain during sexual intercourse.
– Abnormal vaginal discharge containing mucus that may be tinged with blood.
Symptoms that may occur when your cervical cancer has progressed include:
– Anemia, because of abnormal vaginal bleeding.
– Ongoing pelvic, leg, or back pain.
– Urinary problems because of blockage of a kidney or ureter.
– Leakage of urine or fecal content into the vagina because an abnormal opening has developed between the vagina and the bladder or rectum.
– Sudden weight loss.
It should be noted that often, these symptoms are caused by other health problems or infections, not cancer. Testing is needed to make a diagnosis.
Bear in mind that these symptoms may and can take a good amount of long time to develop fully. Sometimes you can have the cancer and not even know it because no symptoms have manifested themselves. The solution to early detection and treatment is to get a regular pap screening. This way if there is something there, you can find it and prevent it from going further.