- Like many cancers that go unnoticed until it is too late, cervical cancer continues to be elusive until it is detected.
- One of the leading causes of deaths in women, this silent killer can attributed to certain risk factors such as sexually transmitted diseases which compromise the immune system, birth control pills, poor diet devoid of fruits and vegetables, HPV, genetics, smoking among others.
However due to pap smears that should be undertaken regularly from the age of 21, more and more lives are being saved, hence the importance of getting one at least yearly.
Here are subtle signs you should be weary of before it is too late lest you are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- Pelvic pain
If this happens outside your menstruation days, you need to see your doctor. Many women are accustomed to cramps and pain during that time of the month and may pass it off as that. If these discomforts occur frequently outside your period days and intensify in pain, visit your doctor asap.
- Unusual bleeding
One of the symptoms linked to cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding outside your normal period cycle. Bleeding after sex, very heavy periods or bleeding after menopause, see a physician right away.
- Unusual vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal and should not be a cause of concern unless it changes color, smells foul, is bloody and changes in consistency. Have it checked. It may just be an infection which either way needs to be treated.
- Urinary problems
When going to the toilet becomes a nightmare, this could be a symptom. Accompanied with pain, discomfort and some tightness when urinating, this could mean the cancer has spread to nearby tissues and is already at an advanced stage. When your urination habits also change and you start to experience incontinence or difficulty urinating, it could be a sign. However, these are also signs for other infections too such as UTI so have it checked for a proper diagnosis.
- Painful sex
When you begin to experience dyspareunia, pain during intercourse, do not take it lightly. This could be due to other infections as well so be sure what the cause is.
- Back pain
Unexplained back pain accompanied with other symptoms could be a sign of cervical cancer. Although ignored by women as it often accompanies periods ad can be due to varying reasons such as bad sleeping position, poor sitting posture or carrying things around, have your doctor rule it out.
When you start feeling tired and your movement becomes sluggish, it could be due to a long list of health issues and whatever the case have consult your doctor.
- Leg pain
One of the early symptoms of cervical cancer is leg pain, swelling, soreness and feeling of tenderness when touched. This is due to blood flow obstruction inhibiting normal circulation.