Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cervix uteri. Symptoms of cervical cancer can be the presence of vaginal bleeding. More advanced states of cervical cancer can lead to vaginal mass and pain during sexual intercourse. Cancers that originate in the cervix can spread to the abdomen, lungs, and other organs.
There are no early signs of the disease which is why it’s important to get screened regularly. The number of women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer over the past few decades has been decreasing as there is more awareness among women for how cervical cancer is caused and more women have regular check-ups.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
The most common symptoms of cervical cancer include: loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, pelvic pain (during sexual intercourse - before or after), back pain, leg pain, single swollen leg, heavy bleeding from the vagina, and leaking of urine.
In essence, if a person experiences several of the following symptoms, they could have cervical cancer:
• Vaginal bleeding after sex
• Pelvic pain
• Painful sex
• Heavy and abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
• Going to the bathroom frequently
Some of the risk factors for developing cervical cancer includes multiple sex partners, sex before the age of 18 due to the increased risk of getting the virus called HPV, a weak immune system, and smoking.
Some women who develop cervical cancer choose either a hysterectomy or chemotherapy for their treatment. This method of treatment can lead to having vaginal changes, which may include shortening, narrowing, and decreased lubrication of the vaginal area. Women, who are sexually active, can use vaginal moisturizer or lubricant during intercourse to help relieve some of the pain. It is recommended that a female can use vaginal dilators or have sexual intercourse to help prevent narrowing of the vagina during and after chemotherapy.
Since cancer of the uterus can lead to having a hysterectomy, which leads to having the nerves, blood vessels and other parts removed to remove the cancer, infertility can be a possibility. However, there is still a possibility for a woman to become pregnant after having chemotherapy, as there have been successful pregnancies after conservative management and with assisted reproductive technologies.