Generally a cervical cancer symptom will only present itself in the more advanced stages of the disease. Unfortunately, earlier stages of cervical cancer rarely exhibit symptoms in the individual.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers in women. It typically affects women between the ages of 35 and 55 but may occur in individuals as young as 20 years of age.
The human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, causes cervical cancer as well as genital warts.
The most common symptom is an abnormality (usually heavy) in the amount of menstrual flow, or spotting or bleeding between periods, especially following sexual intercourse.
Cervical cancer symptoms:
- spotting between periods
- heavy bleeding between periods
- bleeding after intercourse
- unusually heavy periods
- foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
- pelvic pain
- lower back pain
- leg swelling
- blockage of urinary tract
- growth or sore visible on cervix
As with all cancers, early detection and treatment is critical. For cervical cancer, detection is typically through routine Pap (Papanicolaou) testing. Routine testing is critical for early stage detection.
Final diagnosis usually requires a biopsy of the tissue. Treatment methods are mostly surgical but depend on the severity (spread) of the cancer.
Chemotherapy and radiation are often deemed necessary to control the spread of the cervical cancer to other pelvic organs or regions of the body.