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Cervical cancer symptoms

Cervical cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages unless regular screening is carried out because pre-cancerous cells that develop prior to cervical cancer do not produce any symptoms. This is why undergoing regular screening is so important.

The most common early signs and symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding – most commonly after sex (postcoital bleeding) but it can also occur in between periods (intermenstrual bleeding). If you are a post-menopausal woman, cervical cancer can cause vaginal bleeding.
  • Smelly vaginal discharge – this may contain blood and occur between periods. It can also occur in post-menopausal women.
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Pelvic or lower back pain

These symptoms could be related to many more common conditions but should always be checked out by a Gynaecologist or your GP. Early detection of cervical cancer significantly improves outcomes.

Advanced cervical cancer symptoms

Advanced cervical cancer can spread to other organs in the body including the bladder, intestines, lungs and liver. This can produce a raft of symptoms, the most common being:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Bone pain
  • Swelling of one of the legs
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Severe pain in the back and side relating to the kidneys
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation

In all cases, do not ignore symptoms and see your GP immediately.

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