7 seemingly innocent signs that could mean you have cervical cancer

The mortality rate from cervical cancer is higher than previously thought. Have you experienced any of these signs?

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  • A new study about cervical cancer revealed that it's even more deadly than previously believed. The study, done by John Hopkins Medicine and George Washington University, discovered the frequency of death from the cancer was far higher than previous studies showed.

  • Protect yourself by looking for the following seven signs common with cervical cancer:

  • 1. Irregular bleeding during or between periods

  • Heavy bleeding during, or consistent spotting between periods is an early indication of cervical cancer. Blood with urination or stools could also happen.

  • 2. Increased vaginal discharge

  • Another early sign is abnormally frequent discharge that is watery, discolored (pink, brown, white, clear), foul smelling or tinted with blood.

  • 3. Pain during intercourse

  • Pain and bleeding during and after intercourse is another early sign that something is wrong.

  • 4. Swelling in legs

  • This symptom happens when the cancer is more advanced. The swelling could happen in one or both legs.

  • 5. Back or pelvic pain

  • Since the cancer causes the cervix to expand, other organs get compressed causing intense pain. This is another advanced sign of cervical cancer.

  • 6. Fatigue and weight loss

  • Increased fatigue always accompanies an advanced stage of cervical cancer because your body is most likely losing blood. Since the desire to eat is often decreased your body isn't getting the energy it needs. This will cause weight loss.

  • 7. Difficulty with urination or bowel movements

  • Since your cervix is expanding, your body will have difficulty with regular urination and bowel movements. You will feel the need to urinate more frequently.

  • You can protect yourself from cervical cancer by having safe sex, getting regular pap-tests and vaccination against HPV. Since the early signs can be associated with a variety of different things, like pregnancy or adjusting to birth control, your best protection comes from prevention and regular check ups.

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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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