Men and women who are sexually active contract different sexually related viruses at some point. People who have more than one sexual partner are most susceptible to this.
The most common viral infection that a person can contract is the Human Papillomavirus, or the HPV. The scary thing about the HPV is that it doesn’t require full penetration to develop.
A mere skin-to-skin contact of the genital parts can trigger HPV development.
Some HPV infections go away without treatment, however, a lot of cases result in genital warts and in severe cases, lead to a more serious complication.
For the past few years, there has been a staggering spike in the number of individuals infected by the said virus. To this day, the count is continuously growing.
Most of the infected people are in their teens and early 20s, most of which are young girls. There are more than a hundred types of Human Papillomavirus infections, some of which can lead to cancer.
The most common form of cancer caused by HPV is cervical cancer.
In this article, we will provide you an overview of cervical cancer and the warning signs that may indicate whether or not you have it.
What is cervical cancer?
The cervix is located at the lower region of the uterus, it serves as the canal between the vagina and the uterus.
Cancer of the cervix, or cervical cancer, develops when cancer cells inside the cervix increase at an abnormally rapid rate. This cancer is mostly caused by Human Papillomavirus.
As a matter of fact, a statement from the World Health Organization declared that nearly all reported cases of cervical cancer are linked with HPV.
It is worth noting that cervical cancer is one of the most frequent types of cancer that is observed in women all over the world.
Every year, more than 250,000 women die from cervical cancer, most of which live in third world countries. This is why it is very important for women to regularly take Pap tests.
Pap tests detect any abnormality in the cells of the cervix, which can ultimately help prevent them from developing into cancer. For more information on how cervical cancer is diagnosed, treated, and prevented, visit this article.
Aside from taking a pap test, you should also watch out for warning signs that indicate the presence of cervical cancer.
Warning signs that indicate cervical cancer
The following are some indications that you could have cervical cancer:
Painful and uncomfortable urination
Albeit common, experiencing pain and discomfort when urinating may be an early sign of cancer of the cervix. You may experience a burning or stinging sensation during urination due to an inflammation or infection of the urinary tract.
For cervical cancer, this symptom becomes present once the infection reaches the urinary tract and the bladder. This symptom may indicate a less serious disease or condition, like interstitial cystitis or urinary tract infection.
However, this should never be overlooked.
If you’re experiencing painful urination that doesn’t seem to go away, it is best to visit a medical professional and get yourself checked.
Urinary incontinence, also known as loss of bladder control, refers to the condition wherein you either lose the capability to control your urine or you are unable to urinate completely.
In most cases, the urine would not stop leaking from the urethra. Others experience a loss of urine.
People who suffer cervical cancer experience problems in bladder control once the infection spreads into the bladder. This can cause the urine to uncontrollably leak from the urethra.
This can sometimes be accompanied by a tiny discharge of blood.
Longer and heavier menstrual periods
Sometimes, menstrual periods can be excessively heavy and last longer than the usual 7 days.
This can easily be mistaken as just a period irregularity.
However, abnormal menstrual periods can also indicate cervical cancer.
For cervical cancer, this occurs due to irritation in the reproductive tract, particularly the cervix.
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal. Since the vagina is self-cleaning, there will always be discharge.
However, abnormal vaginal discharge may be an indication of an underlying condition and potentially cervical cancer.
There are certain kinds of vaginal discharge that can be a sign of an infection, these discharge are usually recognized easily. Abnormal vaginal discharge is usually green, yellow, or greyish in color.
The consistency is chunky and quite similar to that of cottage cheese. It looks foamy and has a strong odor.
It may also be bloodstained. If you notice that your discharge resembles the characteristics mentioned above, it is best to visit a doctor and seek medical advice.
Again, abnormal vaginal discharge may also be a sign of different and less serious conditions, not just cervical cancer.
Vaginal bleeding may be a result of different medical conditions. Vaginal bleeding is caused by an infection and/or inflammation around the pelvic organs.
It can also be caused by STDs or cervical cancer. If you experience vaginal bleeding after having sexual intercourse or even after menopause, immediately visit a doctor.
Vaginal bleeding is a very common early sign of cervical cancer.
Pain and discomfort during intercourse
Penetration during intercourse shouldn’t hurt too much if both parties are fully aroused. Pain may be felt for first-timers, though.
This can simply be caused by damage to the lining of the uterus and nothing more.
However, if you are experiencing pain and discomfort during intercourse even if you are aroused and stimulated enough, is completely different.
It can be an indication of cervical cancer and that the cancer cells have already spread into the uterus. If you experience constant pain whenever you engage in intercourse, it is best to visit a doctor and get yourself checked.
Pain in the legs and the pelvis
Leg and pelvic pain are common signs of cervical cancer. Women who suffer from cervical cancer often experience leg swelling and pelvic pain.
This is due to the cancer cells spreading to the reproductive tract and pelvic region, affecting the flow of blood and causing inflammation.
Leg or pelvic pain that doesn’t seem to go away can be an indication of cervical cancer.
Fatigue may simply be a result of exhaustion. But if felt constantly, it could be a sign of an underlying condition which includes cervical cancer.
If you’re experiencing constant fatigue along with the previously mentioned symptoms, visit and talk to your doctor.
Losing weight without trying
Sudden loss of weight can be caused by a lot of things. It may be a result of a fluid loss, muscle mass, bowel problems, and many.
In some cases, it can also be caused by different infections including HPV and HIV.
If you are experiencing weight loss and the aforementioned symptoms all at once, immediately visit your doctor and ask for a diagnosis.
If you want to read more about cancer treatments you may want to read the following articles.