Cervical cancer originates in the cells that cover the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus (womb). This cancer can be detected in its early stages and, occasionally, it can even totally be prevented through Pap tests and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test, when done periodically. According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is one of the types of cancers that can be treated with greater success if it is detected early.
- Getting the HPV vaccine
- Getting tested for HPV
- No smoking
- Using a condom when having sex
Women with cervical cancer in an early stage usually have no symptoms. Symptoms often do not start until the cancer becomes invasive and spreads into the surrounding tissue.
When this occurs, the most common symptoms are:
- Changes in menstrual bleeding
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
These signs and symptoms can also be caused by other conditions other than cervical cancer. Nevertheless, it is still important that you visit your doctor immediately. Ignoring the symptoms may allow the cancer to grow to a more advanced stage and decrease your chances of being treated more effectively.
Get tested for cervical cancer regularly.
If you have any questions as to when you should get tested, consult your doctor and don’t wait any longer.
By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, BSHE, MS