Cervix is an essential part of the female reproductive system. It is a narrow part following the vagina, terminating into the uterus. It serves as a linkage between the uterus and vagina. The role of the cervix is to help in the production of mucus that cleans the vagina and protects it from bacteria. Cancer that involves the cervical cells is known as cervical cancer. It is more prevalent in sexually active people. Cervical cancer commonly occurs in people with a prolonged infection from the human papillomavirus HPV. This virus is passed on from one individual to another after intercourse. People with weak immune systems or those having HIV or AIDS are also vulnerable to develop cervical cancer. The survival of cervical cancer patients depends on the stage they get diagnosed. Therefore, knowing the early signs and symptoms of this disease is essential.
One of the most common signs and symptoms of cervical cancer is vaginal bleeding. This may be after intercourse, between periods, after menopause, or after a pelvic examination. The cancer cells may damage the healthy tissues and cause bleeding. In some cases, blood-tinged vaginal discharge is neglected and considered normal spotting. However, if it is accompanied by pain and occurs often, it requires medical attention. Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer and heavier periods may also indicate cervical cancer.
Pain during intercourse is another warning sign of cervical cancer, especially if it is followed by bleeding. The cancer cells can cause inflammation and swelling, which can cause pain. Sometimes the pain may be due to infections. However, it shouldn’t be neglected as these infections can also lead to cancer if left untreated.
Cervical cancer may cause increased vaginal discharge. Some discharge from the vagina is normal. However, excess discharge with foul smell or unusual color is of concern. Cervical cancer patients usually complain of yellow, pale, watery, pink, or vaginal discharge.
Consider watching this video to know more about what causes cancer…
Unexplained and persistent pelvic or back pain is also one of the common signs of cervical cancer. The pain may be due to irritation and inflammation of the surrounding tissue. It may also be a sign that cancer has started to spread.
Though the exact cause of cervical cancer is unknown, some risk factors can lead to this disease. Having intercourse at an early age or having multiple sex partners and can increase the risk of getting HPV leading to cervical cancer. Some medications like birth control pills can also trigger this disease, especially if you have been taking them for a long time. A weakened immune system, smoking, and STDs can also lead to cervical cancer.
The best way to stay safe from cervical cancer is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Ask your doctor about the HPV vaccine and get yourself vaccinated. Practicing safe sex and using precaution can also save you from future hassle. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can work wonders for your immunity which may help fight off cancer. Furthermore, avoiding smoking can significantly reduce cervical cancer risk as well. However, if you develop any symptoms, consult your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment ensure a better outcome.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!