Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms may not appear until the cancer is advanced.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptom is bleeding from the vagina:

  • Between periods
  • After sex, douching, or a pelvic exam
  • After menopause

Menstrual periods may be heavy or last a long time. There may be an unusual discharge from the vagina.

Cervical Cancer

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Advanced Symptoms

Later stages of cancer may cause:

  • Pain in the pelvis, belly or back
  • Problems passing urine or stool
  • Loss of hunger and weight
  • Being very tired
  • Swelling in the legs


Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 21, 2021.
Cervical cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Accessed April 21, 2021.
General information about cervical cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Accessed April 21, 2021.
Hu Z, Ma D. The precision prevention and therapy of HPV-related cervical cancer: new concepts and clinical implications. Cancer Med. 2018 Oct;7(10):5217-5236.
Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed April 21, 2021.
Last reviewed March 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 10/6/2021

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