What are early warning signs of cervical cancer?
Cancer is a disease that should be diagnosed as early as possible to enable effective treatment. However, many symptoms of cancer only show up when the cancer has already progressed. Researchers have now found that bleeding after sex or between periods can be a sign of cervical cancer.
Cancer Research UK scientists warned that out-of-period vaginal bleeding could indicate cervical cancer. Women should take this into account if they want to avoid such cancer.
Women should take vaginal bleeding seriously out of period
One of the most common symptoms of cervical cancer is vaginal bleeding outside the rule, Cancer Research UK staff say. If women experience bleeding between periods, during or after sex, and after menopause, it may indicate cancer of the cervix. The description of the other common symptoms included pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse, vaginal discharge and pain in the area between the hip bones.
Have your doctor examine unusual bleeding
If there is unusual bleeding, women should definitely see a doctor, say the experts from the NHS. However, vaginal bleeding does not always have to be a sign of cancer, it can have a variety of causes. So bleeding does not mean that those affected necessarily suffer from cervical cancer, the researchers reassure them. Unusual vaginal bleeding, however, needs to be examined by your family doctor, doctors add. Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Vaginal bleeding,
- Loss of bladder control,
- Blood in urine,
- Bone pain,
- severe pain in the side or back
What is the human papillomavirus?
In almost all cases, cervical cancer is caused by the so-called human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a very common virus that can be passed on through any type of sexual contact with a man or woman, the experts from the NHS explain in the English-language magazine "Express". There are more than 100 types of HPV, many of which are harmless. However, some types can cause abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer. To reduce the risk, the UK government offers young girls an HPV vaccine that prevents them from contracting the virus and resulting cancer develop. Cervical cancer is the 13th most common cancer in the UK.
Lifestyle changes reduce the risk of cervical cancer
There is no way to prevent cervical cancer, but you can lower your risk with a few lifestyle changes. Smoking generally increases the risk of cancer. Smokers' immune systems have difficulty removing HPV infection from the body. HPV can spread through unprotected sex, so using a condom can also reduce your risk of infection. (as)