For women, cervical or cervix cancer can be deadly. While statistics about this cancer is frightening, cervical cancer can be prevented, and treated if caught early.
Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by HPV or the human papillomavirus, which is highly contagious. This virus is an STI (sexually transmitted infection) and comes in many types but only some cause cervical cancer. An HPV infection might go away on its own or could cause abnormal cell growth that may lead to cervical cancer.
The signs for cervical cancer may not be as obvious or apparent as breast cancer but there are ways to observe the signs. Contact a gynecologist immediately if you notice:
1. Unusual discharge
When the disease occurs and the tumor starts to develop, the uterine’s cells start to free. The result from that is releasing of watery that is not expected in normal conditions.
Appearance of some warts, remotely or inside is a symptom of HPV that continues in dangerous cervical issue in women. Warts have to be treated early and properly.
3. Pain or bleeding
There may also be rectal or bladder bleeding. Any bleeding outside your menstrual period should be investigated for it may indicate a serious health issue. Cervical cancer grows on the walls of the cervix which can dry out and even crack, causing discomfort and bleeding.
4. Urinary problems
In case of cervix swelling, the bladder and kidneys may be compressed, and they may cause an obstruction of the passage of urine. Consequently, you may not be able to completely empty your bladder, which causes pain and/or a urinary tract infection.
Anemia often accompanies cervical cancer because it’s caused by excessive bleeding, another sign of this cancer. If your eating habits are the same, but you constantly feel tired, or your heartbeat increases even at the slightest effort, you should get examined for anemia and the reason behind it.
6. Continuous pain in the legs, hips or back
You should also know that the swollen cervix can affect your kidneys, bladder and other internal organs. Blood vessels may also be compressed, making it difficult for blood to reach the pelvis and legs, causing pain and swelling in the legs and ankles.
7. Weight loss
You should also know that all types of cancer decrease or even suppress your appetite, including cervical cancer. The swelling of the cervix can compress the stomach, resulting in decreased appetite and weight loss.
Note: don’t panic! You should know that these symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer. This is why you should consult your doctor first, when you notice any of these symptoms and warning signs. There are risk factors for developing HPV, and can be contracted by both men and women.
The best-known risk factors for cervical cancer are:
– Smoking or breathing in second-hand smoke
– Multiple sexual partners
– Unprotected sex
– Low immunity
Note: because an STI is the most common cause of cervical cancer, it is good to be aware of the signs and symptoms of HPV. And, preventative exams like a pap smear can help detect cervical cancer early on. You should do these preventive exams once a year.