Despite the fact that cervical cancer can be treated with 100% results, thousands of women still lose their lives due to late diagnosis. Diagnosis becomes difficult in the early stages of cervical cancer as symptoms are mostly absent and the ones which are there are often confused with symptoms of other diseases.
The good news is that even in the advanced stages, cervical cancer is fairly treatable with a good survival rate. Advanced stages of cervical cancer will have symptoms that you might want to check out before it’s too late.
Abnormal Responses Of Cervical Cancer
Once you reach the advanced stages of cervical cancer where visual changes start occurring, the symptoms slowly start creeping up. One of the main symptoms associated with cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding from the vagina.This may not be connected to your menstrual periods.
The bleeding can be after intercourse or between your menstrual cycles or connected to your menstruation when the periods are heavy and long. The bleeding can be triggered even after menopause because of the creation of new blood vessels in the cervix as the cancer grows.The blood vessels are delicate and break easily, leading to heavy bleeding.
When the cancerous cells grow, it will require more blood supply and there comes a point when the rate of blood supply cannot keep up with the rate of cancer growth. When this happens,cellular death occurs and the surrounding tissues get infected.
The infection will result in increased discharge through the vagina which will be foul smelling, watery, pink or reddish or pale in colour. If there is frequent foul smelling discharge, this must be reported to the doctor immediately and further checkups undertaken.
Pain And Swelling In The Leg
With the advancement of cervical cancer, it starts spreading to the pelvic area, causing pressure and friction on the nerves that radiate towards the leg. Frequent pain in the leg is therefore a solid symptom associated with advanced cervical cancer.
Depending on which area the pressure is exerted, you will also have severe back as well as pelvic pain. Once the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, it gets blocked and there will be swelling in one leg.
The cancerous cells can sometimes block the ureters which function as an outlet from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. This blockage will tamper with proper waste disposal and the kidneys will be infected. With time, the person will fall into comma and eventual death.
Cervical cancer in its advanced stages will also have symptoms like loss of appetite, sudden and unexplained loss of weight, fatigue, incontinence when the urine and faeces start leaking out without the patient’s knowledge, fractures in the bones etc. Faecal matter can also leak into the vagina if abnormal holes develop inside the vaginal canal.
When such symptoms occur, the patient may not respond to treatment and all treatment methods may only be palliative. However, miracles do happen and one must never lose hope until the last day.