Being diagnosed with cervical cancer and having survived the disease is a huge achievement in itself. This also means that you have to be very alert and proactive in looking for warning signs that the cancer could be recurring and report the matter to your doctor without any delay.
Treatment method followed during the early stages of cervical cancer do not normally offer any chances of a recurrence as the cancer is nipped in the bud using the latest technology that is non invasive as well. However, there are exceptions to all rules and you might still be left with a recurrence even after following all the right practices.
For advanced cervical cancer treatment which involved chemotherapy and radiation therapy, there is always a chance of the cancer recurring due to the excess radiation exposure and increased susceptibility because of late detection.
Signs That Cervical Cancer Could be Recurring
The first and foremost thing that you must ensure after surviving cervical cancer is to keep checking regularly for any unnatural symptoms that surface in your body. Regular pelvic examination and Pap smears are a must after treatment and must be undertaken diligently and without fail.
Look for the same symptoms that troubled you when you were initially diagnosed with cervical cancer. This would be increased vaginal discharge and pain, strong smelling vaginal fluids, pain in the abdominal area and hip, lower back pain and pain in the legs, sudden or unexplained weight loss and frequent coughing. These could be warning signs that something is again going wrong inside your body.
If these symptoms surface way too frequently for you to ignore, you must immediately schedule a session with your doctor for preliminary checkups. The pain in the hips and legs could mean that the cancer has spread to nearby areas and might have gone to an advanced stage. It could also be due to strain on your back that such symptoms surface. But it is your duty to check and save your life.
When cancer has recurred, the treatment becomes more rigorous as the body is already weak from all the chemotherapies and radiation treatments administered before. There are limitations as well in recurrent cervical cancer as the doctor will understand your susceptibility and will advise you to surgically remove the entire reproductive are including the vagina, ovaries and the cervix if it has not been removed before. This will prevent further dangers.
Radiation therapy cannot be considered safe for administration again if you have already been given radiation therapy before. Therefore the course of treatment will be chemotherapy, perhaps a stronger dose this time and surgery. Sometimes combination medicines are used for chemotherapy in order to increase the efficiency and action of the drugs on the recurrent cancer.
Recurrent episodes of cervical cancer must be taken very seriously as there is no saying that you will not get the disease a third time. Be vigilant and keep your hopes high as a good fighting spirit and strength are essential factors that can speed up your healing process.