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Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

The cervix is female body part extending from the uterus to the vagina. At times, the genes in the cervix cells loose the ability to control cell reproduction usually due to the invasion of Human Papilloma Virus. The result is production of more cells than required, leading to formation of malignant tumors. Known as cervical cancer, the condition is phased out into various stages, each marked by the growth, movement and spread of cancerous tumor within the cervical region or to distant body parts like bladder, lungs and liver. As opposed to other malignancies, cervical cancer grows slowly, making it relatively easy to detect and contain.

Cervical cancers do not reveal any profound signs and symptoms until they spread to surrounding organs. Many initial symptoms may coincide with other reproductive conditions, making it harder to spot the issue early on. However, there are certain clinical indications of the cervical malignancy that needs to be identified and presented early. The reason being, early presentation significantly reduces chances of morbidity and mortality. Thanks to better means of detection presently available, the cases of cervical malignancy have gone down lately.

  • If case of excessive bleeding during and in between menstrual cycles and post menopause, get yourself screened for cervical cancer.
  • Unexplained bleeding post sexual intercourse can be a sign of cervical malignancy.
  • When experiencing anomaly in the volume and smell of vaginal discharge, it’s time to take prompt medical intervention. This is a clinical indication of cervical cancer.
  • Intense and prolonged periods than normal may also suggest the condition.
  • If painful sexual intercourses are the norm with you, seeking screening for cervical cancer is advisable.
  • Frequent urine leakage from the vagina is also a common indication of cervical cancer.
  • You may experience sudden and unexplained weight loss when suffering from cervical cancer.
  • Constant fatigue is commonest symptom of cancers, including that of cervix.
  • Although a generic sign, drastic loss of appetite is important one nonetheless.
  • Swelling in the lower abdominal area, especially legs is a prominent clinical indication of cervical cancer.
  • If mild to severe pain in the chest, pelvic region, lower back and bones in the leg persists, visiting your clinician is recommended.
  • Wheezing after a short walk or any physical activity can suggest cervical malignancies.
  • Uneasiness and pain during urinating is one of the specific symptoms of cervical malignancies.
  • Irregular bowel movement is a generic indication of malignancies.
  • Coughing up blood regularly is an indication of malignant tumors in cervix.
  • Vaginal douching followed excessive bleeding is also a profound clinical indication.

Causes of cervical cancer

Cervical malignancies have their roots in multiple factors, such as, but not limited to:

  • Human Papilloma Virus

    The prominent cause of cervical cancers is Human Papilloma Virus, accounting to 90% of all cases presented globally. The virus impairs the body’s natural mechanism to maintain equilibrium in cell production and destruction. The cells multiply abnormally creating a protuberance, which may move around through blood stream and lymph nodes infecting other body parts.

  • Smoking:

    Female smokers run a higher risk of contracting cervical malignancies, both primary and secondary. Cigarettes release several cancerous chemicals into the lungs that may be transported via bloodstream to distant body parts, including cervix. These chemicals are detrimental to the DNA of the cells in the cervix, leading to the formation of malignant tumors. Additionally, smoking deters the body’s natural response to HPV.

  • Struggling Immune system:

    In lack of a healthy immunity, the body fails to respond to the unwanted cell build up in the cervix, letting it grow and spread. A struggling immunity is due to smoking, stress, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or exposure to immune-suppressants used in autoimmune disorders and post organ transplant care.

  • Oral contraceptives:

    Oral contraceptives, also known as birth control pills, are a prominent cause for cervical cancers. However, the risk depletes when the female discontinues the usage and situation is normalized in a decade after stopping.

  • Multiple sexual partners:

    HPV is a communicable disease spreading from an infected person to the healthy one via sexual intercourse and skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, women with multiple sex partners are at a greater risk of cervical cancer.

  • Early pregnancies:

    Females with early (before the age of 17) and multiple pregnancies are more likely to fall prey to HPV and eventually contract cervical malignancies.

  • Imbalanced diet:

    Females with imbalanced diets lacking essential minerals and vitamins are more vulnerable to cervical cancers.

  • Obesity:

    Excessive weight is linked to adeno-carcinoma of the cervix.

  • Hereditary:

    Cervical cancers are likely to run in family, from mothers to their daughters.

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