A particularly contagious cancer called cervical cancer is brought on by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different strains of the sexually transmitted virus known as HPV. Cervical cancer, one of the most deadly gynecological cancers, is one of the variations that can cause it. If the immune system is strong enough to combat it, the HPV can go away on its own. However, it can occasionally lead to abnormal cell growth that can result in cervical cancer.
7 SIGNS OF CERVICAL CANCER
Although cervical cancer does not produce obvious symptoms like breast cancer, it can still be detected early if you know what signs to look for.
Visit a gynecologist immediately in case you have any of the symptoms:
Unusual discharge is a common symptom of this type of cancer because once the cancer starts growing inside the cervix, the cells of the uterine lining start secreting watery discharge.
As gynecologist Rosa Maria Leme says: The appearance of small warts (external or internal) serves as a red flag for some diseases such as HPV, which greatly increases the chances of cervical cancer in women.
PAIN OR BLEEDING
Pelvic discomfort and bleeding are also typical signs of cervical cancer because the walls of the cervix dry out and even crack due to the abnormal cell growth. Rectal or bladder bleeding can also occur though in the more advanced stages. Any bleeding outside your menstrual period requires immediate medical attention.
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.
Difficulty urinating is another sign of cervical cancer that occurs as a result of swelling of the cervix, which presses the bladder and kidneys impeding the passage of urine. This results in inability to empty your bladder completely, pain while urinating and/or a urinary tract infection.
CONTINUOUS PAIN IN THE LEGS, HIPS OR BACK
A swollen cervix affects not only your kidneys and bladder but also your internal organs. It may put pressure on the blood vessels and inhibit blood flow to the pelvis and legs, thus producing pain and swelling in the legs and ankles.
Loss of appetite and weight accompanies most types of cancer. In the case of cervical cancer, the swollen cervix puts pressure on the stomach, leading to appetite and weight loss.
Note: It's very important to have in mind that these symptoms can also be produced by other conditions. However, reporting them to your gynecologist is vital for early detection.
There are numerous risk factors that can lead to contracting an HPV infection, found in both men and women.
THE BEST-KNOWN RISK FACTORS FOR CERVICAL CANCER ARE:
- Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having unprotected sex
- Having low immunity
As the article mentioned earlier, an HPV infection is the root cause of cervical cancer, so being able to read the warning signs and symptoms of HPV is critical for this cancer. Having regular Pap smear tests once or twice a year also increases your chances of early detection.