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Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Both the precancerous changes in the cells (cervical dysplasia) and the earliest stages of cervical cancer have no symptoms. Symptoms may not appear until the cancer is in advanced stages. If you experience any symptoms, do not assume it is due to cancer. Many symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions. However, it is still important to discuss them with your doctor. Early detection and treatment improve outcomes for both cancer and other health conditions.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding. It may include:

  • Bleeding between your regular menstrual periods
  • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after douching
  • Bleeding after a pelvic exam

Other symptoms may include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge, with or without blood
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Cervical Cancer

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Advanced Symptoms

Later stages of cancer may cause:

  • Pelvic pain or a sensation of a mass
  • Abdominal or back pain caused by pressure on nearby nerves
  • Obstructive urinary tract or rectal problems
  • Decreased appetite and unintended weight loss
  • Intense fatigue, abnormally low energy
  • Swelling in the legs, which may be caused by an obstruction in the veins or lymphatic system
  • Bone pain
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References:

Cervical cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 16, 2015.
Cervical cancer. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 2015. Accessed November 16, 2015.
Cervical cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114831/Cervical-cancer. Updated April 11, 2016. Accessed October 3, 2016.
Cervical cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2013. Accessed November 16, 2015.
General information about cervical cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated June 12, 2015. Accessed November 16, 2015.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Last Updated: 11/16/2015

 

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