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Doctors name early symptoms of cervical cancer

Doctors name early symptoms of cervical cancer Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Cervical cancer develops asymptomatically, often going unnoticed by women until discovered during routine examinations or when the disease has progressed to an advanced stage, leading to serious health issues, according to to Daily Mail.

Causes of cervical cancer

The primary cause of this type of cancer is attributed to the high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is widespread and usually resolves on its own without causing any issues. However, in some cases, the virus can induce changes in cervical cells that may eventually develop into cervical cancer. Typically, this process is slow, spanning from 5 to 20 years.

Additional risk factors identified by medical professionals include smoking, weakened immune system, the use of oral contraceptives, and the medication diethylstilbestrol (DES), prescribed to pregnant women from 1938 to 1971.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

The most common early symptoms of cervical cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding, especially after menopause, after sexual intercourse, or between regular menstrual periods. Other symptoms to be mindful of include changes in vaginal discharge, pain or discomfort during intercourse, and unexplained pain in the pelvis or lower back.

How to prevent cervical cancer

The best preventive measure is vaccination against HPV. According to research, the lifetime risk of cervical cancer is approximately 2 out of 100 for those who have not been vaccinated against HPV and have never undergone cervical screening.

Around half of women diagnosed with cervical cancer are able to live for 10 years or more.

Cervical screening, which involves testing for high-risk HPV, can also be conducted. If the virus is detected, the sample for cell changes will be examined. If no cell changes are present, the cervix should be rechecked in a year to ensure the absence of HPV.

If cell changes and high-risk HPV are detected, a woman may be invited for a colposcopy, which allows for a more detailed examination using a microscope.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.