The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 13,800 new cases of cervical cancer in the United States this year. This accounts for 0.8 percent of new cancer cases. Tragically, the NCI also estimates 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer in 2020, which accounts for 0.7 percent of cancer deaths. The good news is cervical cancer cases continue to decrease rather than increase due to early detection (PAP smears) and HPV immunizations. This said, Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN is going to list the signs of cervical cancer below so you can come in right away if you suspect you have it.
Early Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Cervical cancer is tricky because it doesn’t show signs until the cancerous cells are already growing on the cervix. This is why it’s important to have a PAP smear once a year so your gynecologist can detect any abnormal cell growth. If you are growing cancerous cervical cells, you will notice vaginal bleeding that isn’t normal, such as
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding while in menopause
- Bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles
- Heavy and/or elongated periods
- Bleeding after douching
You may also experience bloody or unusual vaginal discharge, painful intercourse, and pain in your pelvic region. Set up an appointment right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Early detection of cervical cancer increases your chances of surviving the illness. You don’t want to allow the cancer to advance, as this could prove to be fatal.
Advanced Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Along with the symptoms listed above, signs that cervical cancer is in the advanced stages include swelling in your legs, difficulty urinating or with bowel movements, and blood in your urine. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so, again, set up an appointment right away to find out what’s causing your symptoms and, if needed, to set up a treatment plan.
Early Detection Is Key
We know we said it above but it bears repeating. Early detection of cervical cancer or any other type of cancer for that matter is key to surviving it. We know PAP smears are uncomfortable but please don’t put them off. Annual PAP smears are what is driving the number of cases of cervical cancer in the United States down, so make sure you schedule your PAP today if you haven’t had one in a year.
Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN will do our best to make your PAP smear comfortable and discuss any unusual findings with you. Call our Stockbridge, GA, medical facilities today at 770-474-1919 for an appointment. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment for your daughters, too, for their HPV vaccines.