Why you shouldn't only rely on Pap Smears to check for cervical cancer.
Studies show that 60% of all cervical cancers occur among women who have never received a Pap smear or haven't received the test in 5 years.
It is important not to rely on only a Pap smear to detect cervical cancer.
1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding
One of the main signs of cervical cancer is vaginal bleeding between your period cycles, after sex or after menopause. It is a symptom of advanced cervical cancer as the tumor has spread to nearby tissue.
2. Heavy periods
If your period lasts up to two weeks longer than normal- it should be cause for alarm. You should also be concerned if you have more than one period within your cycle.
However, if you notice any changes within your period you should consult your gyno.
3. Abnormal vaginal discharge
Cervical cancer causes discharge that is foul-smelling, pink, brown or bloody and with chunks of flesh.
Should you also be producing watery discharge for no reason, you should seek medical assistance.
4. Pelvic, back or leg pain
Pelvic pain can be an indicator of changes in the cervix. However, according to Women's Health, advanced cervical cancer can even spread to the bladder, intestines, or even the lungs and liver. This in turn leads to back or leg pain.
5. Extreme fatigue
Abnormal vaginal bleeding lowers the amount of red blood cells in the body. This leads to the feeling of lethargy.
6. Persistent nausea
Feeling like throwing up all the time or persistent indigestion can be a sign of cancer. Cervical cancer can cause the cervix to swell into the abdominal cavity, compressing the stomach and intestines.
7. Sudden weight loss
This is due to the compression of the stomach.
Loss of up to 10% of your body mass within 6 months should be cause for concern.