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5 Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, start growing uncontrollably. These cells can invade nearby tissues and, in advanced stages, spread to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancer is often caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

In this blog, we will explore what cervical cancer is, how it is diagnosed, when to seek professional help, the risks and causes, the different stages, and how to live with it.

Diagnosis and When to Seek Professional Help

Regular screening tests are vital for the early detection of cervical cancer.

  • The Pap test is the most common screening (also known as the Pap smear), which involves collecting cells from the cervix to check for any abnormalities.
  • Another test that can be done is the HPV test, which detects the presence of high-risk HPV strains.

5 Common Signs You Should Pay Attention To

  1. Abnormal Bleeding: including bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause.
  2. Unusual Vaginal Discharge: Changes in vaginal discharge, such as an increase in volume, consistency, or a foul odor, can be an indication of cervical cancer.
  3. Persistent Pelvic Pain or Discomfort: This pain may be unrelated to your menstrual cycle and could manifest as dull aches or sharp pains.
  4. Pain During Intercourse: Cervical cancer can cause pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. Sexual activity has become painful or uncomfortable without any apparent reason.
  5. Weight Loss and Fatigue: Unintentional weight loss, along with persistent fatigue or weakness, may indicate advanced stages of cervical cancer.

It is best to consult a healthcare professional if you experience these symptoms or significant changes. These signs do not necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer and could stem from other causes, but it’s essential to be vigilant and seek prompt medical attention if you notice any of these warning signs.

Risks and Causes

While HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer, it’s important to remember that not all women with HPV will develop the disease. Other risk factors could increase the likelihood of developing cervical cancer.

Some risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • A weakened immune system
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Family history of cervical cancer.

Stages of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is classified into stages based on the size of the tumour and its spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. The stages range from 0 to IV, with stage IV being the most advanced. The stage of cervical cancer is an important factor in determining the appropriate treatment plan.

Receiving a cervical cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and life-changing. However, it’s important to remember that there is hope, and support available.

Treatment options

Treatment options for cervical cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches. If it is in an advanced stage and cannot be cured, treatment might focus on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.

Following these 4 steps can help to empower you through the process:

  1. Prioritise regular screenings.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Seek professional help if you notice any concerning symptoms.
  4. Embrace support whether its family or friends.

A Safe and Supportive Environment

At Chase Lodge Hospital, we understand the emotional and physical challenges that come with living with cervical cancer. Reach out today, and gain a comprehensive care approach that focuses not only on treatment but also on supporting your overall well-being. Our team of compassionate healthcare professionals is here to guide you through every step of your journey, from diagnosis to survivorship.