Cervical cancer symptoms – unusual bleeding a sign you should see a doctor now


Cervical cancer symptoms tend to appear when the cancer is more advanced.

Cancer Research UK said the most common symptom of the cancer – which is set to affect 17 women in every 100,000 in the UK by 2035 – is vaginal bleeding at times other than when you’re having a period.

“You may have bleeding between periods, during or after sex and at any time after your menopause,” it reports.

Describing the other common symptoms, the charity added pain and discomfort during sex, a vaginal discharge or pain in the area between the hip bones could also be a sign of the cancer.

The NHS warned women to visit a doctor if they experienced unusual bleeding.

On its website, the national healthcare provider said: “You should contact your GP if you experience bleeding after sex, bleeding outside of your normal periods or new bleeding after the menopause”.

However, they added vaginal bleeding is not always a sign of the cancer.

“This is very common and have a wide range of causes,” the NHS continued.

“It does not necessarily mean you have cervical cancer.

“However, unusual vaginal bleeding needs to be investigated by your GP.”

Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus in almost all cases.

“It is a very common virus that can be passed on through any type of sexual contact with a man or a woman”, said the NHS.

“There are more than 100 types of HPV, many of which are harmless. However, some types can cause abnormal changes to the cells of the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer,” they continued.

To reduce risk, the UK-government offers the HPV vaccine to young girls to stop them contracting the virus and consequently developing the cancer.

Cancer Research UK says cervical cancer is the 13th most common cancer in the UK.

There’s no way to prevent cervical cancer, but you can lower your risk with a few lifestyle changes.

Smoking increases your risk of the cancer. Smokers’ immune systems struggle to get rid of the HPV infection from the body, the NHS said.

HPV can be spread through unprotected sex, so using a condom could also lower your risk of developing the infection.

The NHS cervical cancer vaccination programme aims to protect against four types of HPV.

Girls are offered the vaccine when they’re 12 or 13 years old, but it’s available to patients up to 18 years old.

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