Did you know that unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge could be a warning sign of cervical cancer?
While cervical cancer is quite preventable, the reason for the higher incidence is lack of awareness among women. Moreover, when diagnosed early, Cervical Cancer can be successfully treated and often cured. Therefore, in addition to having regular Pap tests performed for screening purposes, a woman should learn to recognize possible warning signs.
10 warning signs of cervical cancer:
Itching or burning sensations in the vagina
Low back or abdominal pain
Bladder symptoms such as Haematuria (blood in the urine), Dysuria (painful urination) and/or frequent or urgent urination
Foul smelling vaginal discharge
Leg oedema (fluid retention)
Lower abdominal pain
Rectal symptoms such as bleeding from the rectum, loose motion, or rectal pain
Lumber pain due to Pyelonephritis (inflammation of the Kidney) or ureteric obstruction
Indian physician Sushma Tomar highlights the following risk factors that can help you make healthy choices:
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the leading risks in developing Cervical Cancer. While there are over 100 types of HPV infections, the HPV16 and HPV18 strains are the most associated with Cervical Cancers
Smoking - chemicals found in Tobacco can put women who smoke at increased risk for Cervical Cancer. Second hand smoke may also play a role
Low immune system - women who have Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) may not be able to effectively fight HPV infections, thus putting them at risk of developing Cervical Cancer at a faster rate
Lack of access to healthcare - women who may not have access to regular health care and Cancer screenings could be at high risk
Family history - having a family member who has been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer is a risk factor
The key to the early detection of Cervical Cancer is for each woman to become familiar with her own body and aware of what is normal for her. Therefore, a woman should pay close attention to the timing, duration and heaviness of her menstrual periods, and whether she experiences back or abdominal pain on a regular basis.
Finally, it might be tempting to search the Internet for information about cervical cancer symptoms, but it is important to proceed with caution and be aware that there is a lot of misinformation out there. Do not be afraid and consult your doctor for proper guidance and support.