Cervical cancer is a malaise that is very hard to distinguish on early stages and diagnose without doctor’s help. But there are some telltale signs of disease that you can define. Read and memorize, because awareness may save your health and even life. Here are opinions of German doctors about the signs of the disease.
As a rule pre-cancer and its initial stages show no visible symptoms: a woman does not feel any discomfort or pain, there are no complaints about overall health. Self-examination is impossible, and tumor can only be seen by a gynecologist with the help of special equipment, but such checks are not done without reason. The only thing that may be a possible telltale sign is HPV (90% of cases appear due to this virus).
These usually appear in case of advanced or true invasive cancer inside other tissues. When this stage of disease develops, the following might be experienced by a person:
- vaginal bleeding when it should not be, for instance, after sex, or after menopause, between periods. Sometimes a woman may have heavier bleeding in the course of menstrual periods. If bleeding occurs after having shower or going through pelvic exam, it can also be a warning sign.
- unusual bad-smelling discharge from vagina with some blood between periods or after menopause.
- pain in pelvis or lower belly.
- painful sensations during sex.
If the condition has worsened, and metastases spread outside pelvis or affected lymph nodes, it may lead to other noticeable changes:
- pain in back;
- constant fatigue;
- swelling or leg pain;
- blood in urine;
- loss of appetite;
- urinary inconsistence;
- changes of bladder and bowel functioning;
- leaking of feces or urine from vagina;
- bone fracture.
Cervical cancer is among the most widespread women’s diseases in the world. But in developed countries, where screening and examination is a part of routine visit to doctor, the chances of disease and death rate are far less. Modern methods allow defining the disease on early stages. There are several ways of testing.
Pap smear screening allows identifying abnormal cells prior to cancer development. This way, they can be monitored and treated as early as possible. Women are advised to go through Pap smear testing regularly after 21. Although this method is essential for cancer detection, it does not help to detect some of cases.
Biopsy is removal of a small tissue fragment to be examined in laboratory. A doctor can detect cancer cells via telescope, which makes this method highly reliable and precise.
HPV test screening is assigned for women with HPV strains posing the risk of cancer. It is appropriate for women after 30. Although these types of screening are not 100% accurate, they help to detect most instances of early cancer, which allows making it simple for treating. Screening method is defined by a doctor basing on patient’s age, symptoms, and general health.
Disease outcomes will not diseappear without treatment. Usually, a woman feels relief after basic treatment procedures, such as:
- Hysterectomy and cutting out of lymph nodes (ovarian tubes and fallopian tubes stay on their place).
Depending on disease stage, one or a combination of treatments can be assigned. While cancer is being cured, symptoms may gradually disappear.
Since HPS is the main root of cervical cancer, the best method to prevent infection is not to have sex, especially occasional intercourses with several partners. Otherwise, safer sex should be practiced – use condoms and, if possible, both partners should pass HPV test.
Lifestyle is another aspect that influences cancer: lack of sleep, stress and anxiety may trigger disease outbreak, if a person is prone to it. Constant exposure to toxins in foods, air and environment contributes to cancer tumor formation. Smoking is the most dangerous habit for people who are genetically presupposed to cancer. Intake of birth-control pills for several years also increases the risk of cancer several times. All above mentioned should be avoided. Besides, multiple complete pregnancies (more than 3) also increase the chances of cervical cancer, although there is nothing to do, if a woman wants to have several children.
Cervical cancer is quire hard to distinguish on early stages, but medical tests and screenings may help a lot. Do not hesitate to visit a doctor and check your body regularly, because it allows revealing cancer until it is too late. The sooner you notice symptoms of disease, the easier it will be to fight with.