Lt Col Flemings
Precancerous changes and the early stages of cervical cancer often do not cause pain or other symptoms. For this reason regular exams are particularly important. As cervical cancer progresses, some symptoms can become apparent. Major Spencer, will you tell us about some of those symptoms?
Absolutely, Dr. Flemings. In later stages of cervical cancer, symptoms can include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching, or a pelvic exam
- Menstrual periods that last longer and are heavier than usual
- Bleeding after menopause
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Malodorous vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain, or
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Keep in mind that infections or other health problems can also cause these symptoms, so experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not mean that you have cervical cancer. However, if you experience these symptoms, be sure to tell your provider immediately so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.