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What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

 

Photo of woman looking toward the camera
Symptoms of cervical cancer are rarely alarming and may be overlooked. That’s why Pap tests are key.

Women with precancerous lesions in their cervix usually have no symptoms. A woman typically does not have any symptoms until the cells turn into cancer and invade the deepest parts of the cervix or other pelvic organs. That is why it is important that you have a regular Pap test since cervical cancer is easier to treat in its early stages. This test checks for cells that are cancer or precancer.

Symptoms of cervical cancer are often similar to other conditions besides cancer and may include:

  • Vaginal discharge. You may have a watery or unusual discharge.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. If you have cervical cancer, you may have bleeding between your periods or after sexual intercourse. Blood flow during your period may be heavier and last longer than usual. Or you may have bleeding after having gone through menopause.

  • Pain. You may have pain during sex or pain in the pelvic area unrelated to sex or other activities.

If you have a more advanced cancer that has spread, you may have these symptoms. These signs usually mean that the cancer has spread to the tissue around the cervix:

  • Pain in the pelvic area

  • Heavy bleeding from the vagina

  • A single swollen leg, which may be due to a blood clot 

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