Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers found these days. While it is easy to get tested, and these tests are done with most yearly exams, they are still cases that fall through the cracks. So, today we will go over the signs of cervical cancer, and what you can do to spot this deadly disease before it’s too late. The pap smear test is only the beginning; there are many things you can do besides this test to help you determine if cervical cancer is something you will want to bring up to your doctor or medical provider. Today we will go over all the available information in the following article titled Cervical cancer: what are the facts?
Spotting cervical cancer is not something to just leave up to your yearly pap smear results. In fact, some doctors don’t provide these tests automatically anymore, and you must request to be given one. Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes genital warts. There are about 100 different strains of HPV, and several strains can cause cancer. Being infected with a cancer-causing strain of HPV not necessarily means you will get cervical cancer.
Only certain types of strains cause cervical cancer. The two types of strains that commonly cause cancer are:
Do you know that the immune system in the body eliminates the vast majority of HPV infections, often within 2 years?
The early warning signs of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as:
- Bleeding after menopause
- Spotting between periods
- Having menstrual periods longer than usual
- Having menstrual periods heavier than usual
- Bleeding after sex
If you are having any of these issues, it is time to visit a doctor. Also, bleeding after douching may occur. Check if there is any unusual discharge from the vagina. The discharge may occur after menopause or between periods. It may contain some blood.
Another common symptom that could mean cervical cancer is pain during sex. And, and pain in the pelvic region should alert you to the possibility of cervical cancer. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you may be in the early stages of cervical cancer. It is imperative that you alert your doctor or medical provider immediately.
There are four stages of cervical cancer. The doctor will assign your cancer stage after diagnosis. The stage tells whether cancer has spread, and if so, how far it’s spread. The different stages of cancer tell whether it has spread to the other parts of your body or not. In case it has reached the other body parts, the doctor would tell you how far it has spread.
Staging your cancer can help your doctor find the right treatment for you.
Cervical cancer has 4 stages: Stage 1: The cancer is small. In the early stage, Cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes, but it still hasn’t reached other organs. Stage 2: The cancer is larger. It may have spread outside of the uterus and cervix or to the lymph nodes. Cancer still hasn’t spread to other organs. Stage 3: Cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina or the pelvis. It may be blocking the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. It hasn’t reached the other body parts. Stage 4: Cancer may have spread to the other parts outside of the pelvis like your liver, bones, or lungs.
So, while getting a pap smear is a very good safeguard against cervical cancer, it should not be relied on solely. Having a good knowledge of what the signs of this deadly cancer can save your life or the life of a loved one. Cancer at an early stage can be treated and has a good success rate. The reason is that it does not spread in stage 1 and remains within the cervix, but the further it spreads, the lower the success rate tends to be. But, rather than relying on the treatment of cervical cancer, the best thing you can do to safeguard against getting it in the first place is to have the above list of signs of cervical cancer in a place that can be accessed easily, in case you need a reminder beyond just reading about it today. It is most important to remember that if you do see any of the signs of cervical cancer listed today that you immediately look to your doctor or medical provider for help and answers immediately.