Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that is specific to the female gender. It borrows its name from the location of the body it starts from; the cervix, the end lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer predominantly affects sexually active women of between 30 and 45 years.
The development of cervical cancer is in stages. Although its presents different signs at different stages, it is almost impossible to notice any symptom at the initial stage. The signs only become evident when it has developed further. The following are the signs that you are most likely to notice in case you have cervical cancer.
1. Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge around ovulation time is perfectly normal. However, you need to be concerned when you experience unusual vaginal discharge. Such discharge is most likely to occur long before of after ovulation.
The unusual discharge can be clear, white, watery or brown in color. Such unusual discharge is always accompanied by a foul smell. You really need to consult your physician in case of such vaginal discharge. It is usually the first sign of cervical cancer.
Constipation simply refers to the inability to pass stool with ease. It is often associated with a minimal amount of water in the intestines or incomplete emptying of the bowel.
Although you can suffer constipation because of other reasons, you need to take note especially if the cause is not clear. Constipation associated with cervical cancer is never chronic but occasional. You really need to take note if you experience constipation that resolves on its own only to re-occur again after a few days. The best you can do is to consult your physician for necessary tests to rule out cervical cancer.
3. Urinary Incontinence
This is simply the inability of your body to contain passage of urine. The incontinence can be in different ways. It may be that you pass urine when your bladder is under pressure or uncontrolled leakage of urine due to the urge to urinate. It may also be that you are unable to empty your bladder completely or when your bladder is unable to contain passage of urine.
There are several factors that can cause urinary incontinence. One of the factors is cervical cancer. This is why it is necessary that you consult your physician when it happens. This is particularly true if you are not sure about the cause.
This refers to the stretching and swelling of one or all the two kidneys. This is usually as the result of a buildup of urine. This is a form of urinary incontinence.
You really need to take note whenever you experience this sign. This is because it is normally diagnosed in children and is usually treated. It is a rare problem in adults and can only be caused by cervical cancer. In particular, you need to look out for any swelling of one of your legs. The swelling of one leg is usually a clear indicator that you have cervical cancer.
5. Irregular Bleeding
Cervical cancer is a major cause of irregular bleeding. The irregularity of your menstrual flow can be an occasional flow of blood between your period or permanent bleeding in small amounts.
Although irregular bleeding can be caused by many other factors, it is important that you consult your physician at the earliest opportunity. This is because irregular bleeding associated with cervical cancer occurs when the disease has progressed, meaning that it has invaded other parts of the uterus.
6. Post-Menopause Bleeding
Vaginal bleeding after menopause is a clear sign that there is something seriously wrong in your body. You need to take any form of vaginal bleeding after menopause very seriously. This is because your menstrual cycle has literally ceased. The best that you can do is to consult your physician immediately you notice such bleeding. This is because cervical cancer is one of the major causes of post-menopause vaginal bleeding.
7. Bloody Urine
Your urine should not be bloody under any circumstances. This is unless you know why it is so. While some diseases affect the color of urine to either yellow or brown, very few diseases cause the urine to be bloody.
Noticing blood (hematuria) in your urine should be a serious cause for concern. This is because cervical cancer is one of the few diseases that cause blood to flow into the urine. It is in most cases a sign that the disease has spread beyond the cervix to affect other organs including the kidneys. One clear thing you will need to look out for is bleeding after sex. That should prompt you to consult your physician immediately.
8. Loss of Appetite
Loss of appetite associated with cervical cancer normally occurs when the disease is at an advanced stage. You are most likely to lose interest in eating anything. This bound to lead to a fast and drastic reduction in body weight. You are also bound to feel fatigued all the time.
Your body requires nutrients in sufficient amounts to function properly. You can only obtain these nutrients through the food that you eat. This is why you need to take the loss of interest in food seriously. You really need to worry in case you cannot explain the loss of appetite. This is because cervical cancer is one of the diseases that cause loss of appetite.
Although treatment for cervical cancer is available, you really do not wish to go through the treatment regime and incur the associated costs. The only effective way to dealing with the disease is prevention and watching out for these signs. It is also a good idea to go for screening. This helps to identify the disease when it is still at its initial stage of development.