Every year millions of women are detected with cervical cancer and thousands lose their lives to the disease due to late detection. Cervical cancer is mostly caused by human papilloma virus which is present in all sexually active women.
This is why it becomes all the more important for women to be aware of the symptoms and also protect themselves against HPV by vaccinating themselves and also by following monogamy.
Cervical cancer can be cured entirely during the first stage and many would still be able to retain their fertility if the cancer is detected early. How do you detect cervical cancer? The fact that cervical cancer, during the initial stages most often does not present any symptoms makes the recognition extremely difficult. However, always keep a watchful eye for any change in your body and you will surely have reason to suspect early enough.
Tips To Detect Cervical Cancer
1. If you suspect that something is amiss in your reproductive system, never hesitate to consult a doctor and explain the symptoms to her. She will do a pelvic examination and if any suspicious growth is found inside your cervix, there are always other methods by which you can confirm the diagnosis.
2. How do you decide when to consult a doctor? Look for abnormal responses like bleeding after intercourse. Excessive bleeding can be after sex, in between menstruation and heavy bleeding during menstruation. These are not normal responses and must immediately be reported to the doctor.
3. Check your vaginal fluids. Have you noticed any increase in vaginal discharge lately? Is the discharge bloody and strong smelling? Cervical cancer might present itself with abnormal vaginal discharge. Though this symptom can also be due to other conditions of the cervix and vagina like an infection, it is important to check as soon as you see such changes.
4. Do you experience severe abdominal pain? Is there a feeling of pressure inside your stomach? These symptoms must not be ignored if you experience them on a frequent basis. Pain, bloating or a feeling of general discomfort could be signs of cervical cancer. However, they may also be due to IBS, bladder infection, premenstrual syndrome and cysts in the ovaries and many women ignore them thinking that it is unimportant. Any abdominal pain and discomfort that lasts longer than a week must be taken into consideration.
5. Another symptom that can be due to cervical cancer is pain at the time of sexual intercourse. Pain can also be due to endometriosis or vaginismus. However, if the pain comes all on a sudden and becomes worse every day, you must suspect that it could be due to cervical cancer.
6. To check the presence of cancer in the cervix, the doctor might ask you to go for a Pap smear, colposcopy or a blood test which can confirm the diagnosis.
If you are detected with cervical cancer, do not panic, but be happy that you have detected it in time. Most cervical cancer patients who have been detected early are known to survive the disease and get cured completely.