The Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. Symptoms often do not begin until a pre-cancer becomes a true invasive cancer and grows into nearby tissue. When this happens, the most common symptoms are: Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after sex (vaginal intercourse), bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods, and having longer or heavier (menstrual) periods than usual. Bleeding after douching, or after a pelvic exam is a common symptom of cervical cancer but not pre-cancer. An unusual discharge from the vagina − the discharge may contain some blood and may occur between your periods or after menopause. Pain during sex (vaginal intercourse). These signs and symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than cervical cancer. For example, an infection can cause pain or bleeding. Still, if you have any of these problems, you should see your health care professional right away − even if you have been getting regular Pap tests. If it is an infection, it will need to be treated. If it is cancer, ignoring symptoms might allow it to progress to a more advanced stage and lower your chance for effective treatment. Even better, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Be screened regularly. Suggested treatment for cervical cancers  General treatment information The options for treating each patient with cervical cancer depend on the stage of disease to determine its size, how far it has grown into the cervix, and how far it has spread. After establishing the stage of the cancer, treatment options will be recommended by your medical team. Patients must make sure they understand these options.  Apart from the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis, other factors influencing your treatment option includes your age,  general health, individual circumstances, and preferences. Be sure  you understand all the risks and side effects of the various treatments , including the effects on your sex life and the ability to have children, before making a decision. Many specialists, including gynecologists and radiologists,  nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and other health professionals may be involved in your treatment and care.

Common types of treatments for cervical cancer include: Surgery Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Often a combination of treatments is used. It is recommended that patients seek a second opinion pertaining to the treatment plan. This can provide more information and help build your confidence about choosing a treatment plan.  It is important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. It’s also very important to ask questions if there is anything you’re not sure about.

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