Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer often does not cause any symptoms in its early stages. As the cancer progresses, symptoms may develop. Signs and symptoms of stage 1 cervical cancer can include:

  • Vaginal bleeding: This can include bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse, or after menopause.
  • Vaginal discharge: A watery or bloody discharge may occur that may be heavy and have an unpleasant odor.
  • Menstrual periods may be heavier and last longer than normal.

If cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs, symptoms may include:

  • Pelvic pain: This may be a dull ache or a sharp pain.
  • Painful urination or intercourse: This may occur due to the cancer growth in the cervix and can cause discomfort during these activities.
  • Fatigue: As the cancer grows, it can cause anemia, leading to fatigue and weakness.
  • Weight loss: Cancer can cause a loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Diarrhea, or pain or bleeding from your rectum when pooping.
  • A general feeling of illness.
  • Dull backache or swelling in your legs.

It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious conditions, such as infection or inflammation. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should have a complete gynecological examination that includes a Pap test.

Regular cervical cancer screenings, such as Pap tests or HPV tests, can detect cervical cancer early, before symptoms develop, and when it is most treatable. It is also important to practice safe sex and get HPV vaccination to prevent HPV infection which is the main cause of cervical cancer.