Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the cells of the cervix, the lower portion of the uterus that links to the vagina. The most prevalent cause of cervical cancer is long-term infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted illness, and specific strains of the virus can cause alterations in cervical cells, raising the risk of cancer over time.
What are its symptoms?
Cervical cancer symptoms may not be evident in its early stages, which is why frequent screenings, such as Pap smears or HPV testing, are critical for early identification. As the malignancy advances, symptoms may include:
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding:
- Bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Bleeding after menopause.
Pelvic Pain or Pain During Intercourse:
- Persistent pain in the pelvic region, not related to menstruation or other causes.
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
Unexplained Weight Loss:
- Significant and unintentional weight loss that cannot be attributed to changes in diet or exercise.
- Persistent and unexplained tiredness or weakness that does not improve with rest.
Changes in Bowel or Urinary Habits:
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or irregular bowel movements.
- Changes in urinary habits, such as increased frequency or discomfort during urination.
It is crucial to note that these symptoms may not show until late stages of cervical cancer. Early-stage cervical cancer sometimes has no visible signs, emphasizing the significance of regular screenings, such as Pap smears or HPV testing, for early diagnosis. If you encounter any of these symptoms, contact a healthcare practitioner right once.