A wide range of symptoms can point to cervical cancer, including pain, bleeding, or changes to your menstrual cycle. Most women will not experience any symptoms when they are in the pre-cancer stage, but as the cancer progresses, the symptoms are likely to become more severe and affect more areas.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with cervical cancer include:
- Spotting or light bleeding, mid-cycle or following your periods.
- Having heavier or longer menstrual cycles than normal.
- Bleeding after irritation to the cervix, such as after intercourse, using a douche, or a pelvic examination.
- Pain during intercourse.
- An increase in vaginal discharge throughout your cycle.
- Persistent lower back or pelvic pain that cannot be explained by another cause.
- Any kind of bleeding after going through menopause.
While many of these symptoms can be linked to other issues, such as pelvic inflammatory disorder and endometriosis, it is important to discuss them with your healthcare professional so that cervical cancer can be ruled out as a possible cause. Cervical cancer has a very successful treatment rate when caught in the earlier stages and can be more easily detected through routine screening than other cancers. The earlier you catch it, the better.
Your doctor will ask you what symptoms you are having and how long they have been affecting you. They will also likely perform a pap smear to find abnormal cervical cells. If you do have cervical cancer, they will discuss available treatment options with you.