Cancer is a dreaded disease worldwide. It has no boundaries and is often found in people of all ages, even in infants. When cells grow abnormally in the human bodies, cancer manifests itself where the anomaly lies. Cancer is named according to where it begins in the body. It may later spread to other parts of the body.
Cervical cancer refers to overgrown body cells in the lower tapering end of the uterus. The cervix links the vagina to the upper uterus (womb) where a fetus grows in pregnant women. Women over the age of 30 years are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Every year, approximately 12,000 women in America get the feared cervical cancer, and about 3,000 succumb to it.
The main cause of cervical cancer is Human Papillomavirus or simply( HPV). HPV is a regular virus that is contracted through sexual intercourse. At least 50% of sexually active individuals get HPV before the age of 50.Out of these; some women will, unfortunately, get cervical cancer.
Despite these alarming figures, cervical cancer is avoidable. Vaccines and regular screening tests prevent the HPV virus from further spreading of the disease. But if cervical cancer is discovered in its initial stages, it is treatable, and patients may continue enjoying a long healthy life.
Risk of Cervical Cancer
Most cervical cancers originate from the HPV virus since it is a communicable disease contracted during sex. There are various types of HPV. Some cause cervical cancer, while other types cause genital skin warts.
In most cases, the HPV virus shows no symptoms at all, so it’s hard to tell whether one has it or not. Most of the time, HPV kind of disappears on its own with chances of a lethal come back as cervical cancer.
High-Risk Habits that Increase Contraction of cervical cancer
- HIV which is another sexually transmitted virus that causes AIDS- this condition prevents the body from fighting minor diseases due to lack of, or low white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are associated with fighting infectious illnesses in the body.
- Prolonged use of birth control pills for five years or more
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Unsafe Sex
- Multiple Pregnancies
10 Signs of Cervical Cancer You Shouldn’t Disregard
The worst thing about CC is that it does not confirm any symptoms of the disease in its early stages. It manifests strongly after spreading to most of the internal organs like the bladder, intestines liver, or the lungs.
If you detect any strange symptoms distressing your reproductive organs, consult your doctor. Chances of effectively treating cervical cancer are higher if detected early. Below is a list of potential top 10 signs of cervical cancer that shouldn’t be ignored:
1. Excess Vaginal Bleeding
Most women diagnosed with cervical cancer experience irregular bleeding. Regular excess vaginal bleeding could be a strong sign of cervical cancer. It may also be caused by a hormonal imbalance or an infection in the pelvic organs. As cancer spreads to neighboring tissues, it produces new, unusual vessels that easily break, causing the abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods, or after a sexual encounter, a pelvic exam and even after menopause.
2. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Little amounts of odorless, clear vaginal discharge are normal. However, if the vaginal discharge increases, it has an uneven whitish appearance, smells foul, or mixed with blood producing a brownish color; it could be an infection or cervical cancer.
3. Pain during Intercourse
Painful intercourse indicates an advanced cervical cancer if it occurs regularly. It signifies that cancer has spread all through the reproductive organs and the tissues. Painful sex is may also be associated with thick, stinking vaginal discharge. Consult with a doctor to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer as it may also turn out to be an STD infection.
4. Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain occurs regularly in women. It is often associated with cramping during the menstrual period as a common symptom. However, pain that occurs more frequently and lasts for a longer period could be a warning of cervical cancer. Such pain usually arises in an extremely advanced cancer stage. Visit your doctor to uncover the exact cause of your pain and eliminate the possibility of cervical cancer.
5. Discomfort while Urinating
Pain during urination is the most apparent symptoms of this fatal disease. Discomfort like stinging or a burning sensation while peeing takes place when cancer has extended to nearby tissue. Other causes may indicate such symptoms; it is best to check with your doctor for the correct diagnosis and further treatment.
6. Heavier, Longer Menses
Abnormal Menstrual periods are a red flag for cervical cancer. This may be caused by pain and a strain of the cervix, perhaps due to the cervical cancer spread in the uterus. Excessive bleeding takes place if a woman has to change pads every 1-2 hours. Sometimes it can also be caused by hormonal imbalance and other inflammatory diseases in the pelvic, liver or kidney areas.
A rare type of fibroids – Submucosal fibroids develop under the uterine lining muscles toward the endometrium. Large fibroids obstruct the fallopian tubes and slow down the eggs from passing from the ovaries to the uterus. If infertility is prolonged, it may lead to cervical cancer.
Submucosal fibroids can also lead to miscarriages. The fibroids obstruct blood passage to the embryo causing inflammation in the lining and hinder the correct growth of the fetus. Fibroids were linked to women who had recurring miscarriages in the mid-trimester. This is according to a 2011 research conducted in Human Reproduction.
Normal bowel functions may also be blocked by bulky fibroids leading to constipation. When the normal bowel systems have been affected, it causes rectal pain, leading to the overgrowth of subserous fibroids on the outer surface of the uterine wall. Constipation also comes about due to other many reasons. But if associated with fibroids, there’s a possibility of developing cervical cancer.
10. Leg Pain
Pain in the spinal nerves directly connects to the legs, causing pressure pain in the thighs and legs. However, if your leg pain is associated along with the symptoms of fibroids frequently, seek medical advice for further testing of the pelvic bone to rule out cervical cancer.
It is important for women to take screening tests once every year, to ascertain their body health and prevent cervical cancer. Screening also prevents further spreading if the cancer is found.