Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. It occurs in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Women of all ages are at risk of developing this cancer after they begin having sexual intercourse.
Here are 10 cancer symptoms that every woman should be on the lookout for.
1 – HAVING HIV OR AIDS
People with HIV infection or AIDS can get cancer, just like anyone else. They are actually more likely to get some types of cancer than people who are not infected. In fact, some types of cancer occur so often in people with AIDS that they are considered AIDS-defining conditions – that is, their presence in a person infected with HIV is a clear sign that full-blown AIDS has developed.
2 – HAVING HPV
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is usually passed from one person to another during direct skin-to-skin contact. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.
There are more than 150 different types of HPV. Most men and women have no symptoms or health problems to indicate when they have HPV.
3 – LEG SWELLING OR PAIN
Leg pain or swelling is a sign of cervical cancer, though it might not show up until later stages of the disease, According to surgeon Dr Christine Horner.
4 – EXTREME TIREDNESS
Extreme fatigue is one of the most common cancer symptoms. We’re not talking about a normal type of tiredness here: It’s exhaustion that doesn’t go away. If changing your activity level or getting more sleep doesn’t make you perk up.
5 – LOSS OF APPETITE OR UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS
Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point. When you lose weight for no known reason, it’s called an unexplained weight loss. An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus (swallowing tube), or lung.
6 – ABNORMAL PAP SMEAR
When your doctor says that your Pap test, or Pap smear, was abnormal, it means that the test found some cells on your cervix that do not look normal. A Pap test may be done as part of a woman’s routine physical examination, because it’s the best way to prevent cervical cancer.
7 – PAIN DURING INTERCOURSE
Women can experience pain during or after sex, either in the vagina or deeper in the pelvis. Pain in the vagina could be caused by: an infection – thrush or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea or genital herpes. the menopause – changing hormone levels can make your vagina dry.
8 – PERSISTENT PELVIC PAIN
chronic pelvic pain can be a symptom caused by one or more different conditions, in many cases, it is a chronic condition related to how the central nervous system processes threat perception (often called “centralized pain”). When this happens, the nervous system overreacts to various triggers, and the person experiences more pain than would normally be expected.
9 – FOUL-SMELLING DISCHARGE
Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or milky and may have a subtle scent that is not unpleasant or foul smelling. Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge. You may also experience other symptoms with a change in discharge, such as irritation, itchiness or burning in or around your vagina. Of course, abnormal vaginal discharge is more common than not, so don’t freak out right away.
10 – BLEEDING OR SPOTTING
Irregular vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of invasive cervical cancer. The bleeding may occur between menstrual periods or after sex. Sometimes, it shows as blood-streaked vaginal discharge, which often gets dismissed as spotting.