Cervical Cancer Early Signs

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Cervical cancer starts at the lower end of the uterus or the womb, opening at the top of the vagina. This is the most accountable cause next to breast cancer for the mortality rate due to cancerous cell growth in the body. It is important to understand the cervix cancer early signs so that one can arrest the progression of abnormal cell growth, which may lead to cancerous stage.

However, the enhanced examinations and tests make the detection of any abnormality in the pelvic region or observation of any abnormal skin lesions in the cervix easier. Although, any early and prominent signs may be absent in a patient suffering from cancer of the cervix, but the tests are sufficient to watch any tiny abnormality in the body.

One of the most common causes for this disease is the infection caused due to the human papilloma virus (HPV) that is transferred during vaginal intercourse. However, not every strain of HPV causes cervical cancer, but getting HPV DNA test at regular intervals may be useful to trace early signs of cervical cancer, if any.

When to Check for Early Signs of Cervical Cancer:

  • HPV infection is closely linked with cervical cancer. Hence, to check for the traces of this infection at initial stage, is important before it leads to cancerous growth in the cervix region. Any person who:
    • has indulged in sexual intercourse at an early age should get the HPV DNA test
    • has had sex with multiple partners should also take HPV DNA examination
    • has sex with a person, who had sex with multiple partners can take HPV DNA test
  • Also, a woman should take a HPV DNA test from the period of one year from the first sexual intercourse as well as she should take classic Pap smear test.
  • Any girl who has celebrated 18th birthday should have the regular Pap test every year or as soon as one begins to have sexual intercourse, if earlier than 18 years of age.
  • Women in the age group of 35 and more should take Pap test in combination with HPV DNA test in every 2-3 years. However, if any abnormality is found then they need to repeat the test or take any additional test for a clear diagnosis of the condition.

Early Signs of Cervical Cancer:

There may or may not be any significant early signs of cervical cancer. However, some women may present certain early signs that another may present with little progression in the disease. Following are some of the common initial warning signs of cervical cancer that may appear immediately after the abnormal cell growth in the cervix region:

  • A person may not be symptomatic towards the disease atleast during the initial stage. However, when regular Pap test result comes, the doctor may read even a slight abnormality in the cell growth on the cervix surface. The lesions may initially appear on the surface of the outer layer of the cervix, which may reach upto the deeper layers if neglected.
  • Vaginal discharge may be the initial symptom in some of the patients who have experienced precancerous growth in the cervix. The discharge can be watery or bloody and may also have a foul smell to it. The condition may be recurrent and persist till treated. However, this symptom is usually neglected as it is considered as normal and linked with menstrual cycle.
  • A woman may feel pain during vaginal intercourse and complain about mild or heavy vaginal bleeding immediately after sexual intercourse, which is not related to the menstrual period. Even menstrual periods may prolong than normal for certain patients with cervical cancer condition.
  • An uncommon symptom during early stages of cervical cancer is women complaining about pain in pelvic area during the sexual intercourse.
  • Urinal frequency may also increase and may be a warning sign of cervical tumor, even if not cancerous.
  • Elderly women may have vaginal bleeding even during menopause and this may be an early or later sign of cervical cancer depending on the individual.

Cervical cancer accounts over 4000 death every year in U.S. from the total of around 11000 women suffering from this invasive disease. The cancer of cervix is totally preventable if one is able to identify any abnormal changes in the pelvic region with the help of regular screenings or due to the cervix cancer early signs appearing in a few cases.

It is rare for an individual to present any beginning signs of cervical cancer, as the disease is usually asymptomatic in the initial state. However, if detected during the starting phase, it can be treated with promising therapies and a patient may not even require follow-ups as the recurrence incidences may be curbed completely.

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