By noticing and reporting the first signs of cervical cancer, you give yourself the best chance at a positive treatment outcome. Be knowledgeable about the signs that indicate it is time for a cervical cancer screening.
The earliest symptoms of cervical cancer are relatively innocuous; only as the disease progresses do the symptoms become more noticeable and alarming. It is possible to facilitate early detection of cervical cancer, however, by remembering and watching for the first signs of a problem. By alerting your doctor to a potential issue, you can facilitate early diagnosis of cervical cancer and give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome.
To identify the earliest symptoms as abnormal, you must pay close attention to your regular bodily functions and compare your current symptoms with the norm. Be aware of these common symptoms of cervical cancer and know when to see your doctor for a screening.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Although occasional spotting between periods is normal, consistent intermenstrual bleeding can be an early sign of cervical cancer. The bleeding may occur after activities that irritate the cervical tissue, including sexual intercourse, pelvic exams, or douching.
Unusual Vaginal Discharge
Clear, watery vaginal discharge is normal in small amounts. If the discharge looks abnormal in color, consistency, or volume, however, it may be a symptom of cervical cancer. Occasionally, discharge related to the development of cervical cancer will have a strong odor.
Back, Hip, or Pelvic Pain
Menstrual cramps can cause back, hip, and pelvic pain that radiates up and down the legs. If this pain occurs at other intervals in your menstrual cycle, or especially after intercourse, it could be a sign that you need a cervical cancer screening performed by your gynecologist in Little Rock.
Your immune system will attempt to fight off the cancer cells in your cervix to return your body to good health. As this happens, you will feel drained of energy, even after getting a full night’s rest.
As your immune system fights against the abnormal cells, the bulk of your bodily resources will go toward this battle, leaving your system depleted of fuel. As a result, you will likely start to lose weight without an obvious cause.
As your resources become further depleted, bone density counts will start to drop, which increases your risk of suffering a fracture. Therefore, fractures from minor falls may point to the presence of cervical cancer.
Without treatment, cervical cancer will often spread to the lymph nodes in the legs. The spread of cancer to the lymph nodes can then cause leg swelling, which steadily moves from the thighs to the lower legs.
If the swelling spreads across your pelvic cavity, it could damage the nerves responsible for controlling the kidneys and bowels. When this happens, incontinence may develop, causing involuntary leakage of urine and feces.
As cervical cancer worsens and spreads, the symptoms move across the entire body from the localized area of the cervix. The severity of the local- and full-body symptoms will likely continue to worsen until you receive a diagnosis and treatment.
Being aware of the signs of cervical cancer and observing your body’s behavior are positive steps to ensuring that you have a proactive approach to your health. This can lead to early detection of not just cervical cancer, but other gynecological issues as well, which gives you the best chance at a positive treatment outcome.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, schedule an appointment at The Woman’s Clinic by calling 501-664-4131. Your doctor will perform diagnostic tests, including a cervical cancer screening, to identify the cause of your symptoms and create a treatment plan for you.