Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is an extremely serious type of cancer that often begins in the cervix, a small, pear-like structure at the end of a woman’s uterus. The cervix is an anatomical cylinder that connects a woman’s uterus to her vagina, basically acting as a connector for the two. Most cervical cancers start out in abnormal cells right on the surface of this tissue. Many women with cervical cancer do not even realize that they have the disorder until the later stages when it often does not cause any symptoms at all. Unfortunately, this often happens right into the fallopian tubes, where it can be fatal.
There are a few tests that can detect cervical cancer in its early stages. One of these is known as a Pap test and is used by most women yearly at their gynecologist’s office or at the doctor’s office where they receive their Pap smear. A Pap test can be very helpful in the detection of certain types of abnormal cells in the cervix which may be precancerous.
Cervical cancer begins most commonly in the lower portion of a young woman’s cervix, called the opening to the uterus. The cells may appear very similar to the beginning stages of cervical cancer but are actually completely normal cells found in the body. This type of cell has a tendency to start spreading rapidly once they break free from the body. The most common symptom of cervical cancer begins with a small lump that turns into a grape-shaped growth.
HPV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases can be very common in women. As a result, there are many different ways that women can be diagnosed with precancerous cervical cell changes. Every person has various strains of HPV, so each individual’s risk of being infected increases with age. Early screening for these types of cancers is an important factor in their prevention.
Screening for cervical cancer begins with a Pap test, which looks for cells that have abnormally formed and are growing. When this type of cells shows up on a routine Pap smear, they are checked to make sure that they are not precancerous cells. If any are found, your health care provider will begin treating them. Although treatment is possible, sometimes it is not necessary. Sometimes, the abnormal cells can be removed, frozen, and then studied in order to find out if any cancerous changes are present.
Other causes of cervical cancer can include exposure to chemicals such as those found in sunscreens, hairsprays, and the ever-popular makeup that we apply to our faces. In addition, the virus that causes genital warts to spread is often spread through the skin of our genitals. Even men can get genital warts but are less likely to experience symptoms. The human papillomavirus is one of the most common infections on the planet and there is no way of knowing without proper screening for cancer that you may not have it.
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should definitely schedule a check-up with your physician. You may have abnormal cells, abnormal bleeding, or symptoms that do not fit into the categories above. In this case, it is critical to find the reason for your symptoms and get them treated. Unfortunately, in some cases, cervical cancer is not detected until much later, by which time it has spread to other parts of your body. Early screening tests can help to minimize your chances of these sorts of complications.
In any event, it is vitally important that you seek medical care for yourself if you experience any of the above symptoms. Cervical cancers are very treatable and your doctor will be able to give you the best possible treatment. If you notice bleeding, discomfort during sexual intercourse, or if you experience a discharge that has a foul odor, you should definitely mention it to your physician as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of these types of cancers greatly decrease your chances of survival. Be sure to go to your doctor regularly for screenings and remember to let them know if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.