5 Early Signs Of Cervical Cancer To Watch Out For

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Cervical cancer is more common in young women than it is in those over 60, which is why it is important for young women over the age of 25 to attend their cervical screening appointments. Although cervical screening can help to catch early-stage cervical cancer, it’s important to also be mindful of your own health and to book an appointment with a doctor if you believe that you could be displaying some of the early symptoms. Catching cervical cancer early is vital for effective cancer treatment, but most women don’t display symptoms until the cancer begins to grow, so here are 5 of the earliest symptoms of cervical cancer to look out for. 

  1. Pain during sex

Pain during sex is not normal, and although this may not be a sign of cervical cancer it is worth seeking help from a doctor to find the underlying cause

  1. Unusual vaginal discharge 

As women, most of us are pretty in tune with our vaginal discharge and can see, and smell when something isn’t quite right. As cervical cancer forms, it can cause an infection that may lead to abnormal discharge with a strange smell. Although smelly vaginal discharge can be a symptom of a number of other things, it’s worth having it checked out by a doctor. 

  1. Sudden weight loss 

Sudden weight loss that persists no matter how much food is consumed can be a symptom of a number of cancers, including cervical cancer. Regardless as to whether you feel well in the rest of your body, you should always seek help from your GP.

  1. Irregular bleeding between periods or after sex 

Just like our vaginal discharge, most women are fairly in tune with their menstrual cycle and so it’s important to seek help if you notice any unusual spotting between periods or after sex. Irregular bleeding is often one of the earliest signs of cervical cancer and so you should have it checked out immediately. 

  1. Back and leg pain

Finally, as cervical cancer begins to advance it can begin pressing on nerves that can cause lower back and leg pain. Because this symptom tends to occur in more advanced cervical cancer cases, it will likely present itself with one or more of the above symptoms and is not a sign of cervical cancer in itself. 

Cervical screening

Cervical cancer is notorious for not showing any physical symptoms until it reaches its more advanced stages, which is why it is very important that women attend their cervical screenings. In the UK the NHS offers cervical screening for women aged between 25-49 every three years and every 5 years for those aged 49-59. If cervical cancer is detected at one of these screenings then you will be referred for treatment in order to catch cervical cancer as soon as possible before it advances to more dangerous levels. 

If you think that you could have symptoms relating to cervical cancer, or you have missed your last cervical screening, then contact your GP as soon as possible to book yourself an appointment. 

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