Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to cancer. Most of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
There are no obvious signs or symptoms of cervical cancer in its beginning stages. The precancerous changes happening in the cervix usually do not cause pain. Most cervical cancers are detected through a routine pelvic exam and Pap test.
When the abnormal cells become cancerous and begin to invade nearby tissues, symptoms may appear. They include the following:
Abnormal bleeding – this is the most common symptom. 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
- Bleeding after menopause
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Symptoms involved in late-stage disease include:
Urinary complaints, such as:
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- Urinary urgency
- Pain with urinations
- Blood in the urine
- Foul smelling discharge containing both blood and serous fluid
- Yellowish vaginal discharge
- Weight loss
Cervical cancer. American Cancer Society Web Site. Available at:
Accessed November 19, 2002.
Otto SE. Oncology Nursing . 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc.; 2001:248-257.
What you need to know about cancer of the cervix. National Cancer Institutes Web site.
Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/cervix
Accessed on December 21, 2002.
Last reviewed February 2003 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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