As with most other cancers, cervical cancer does not typically cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, this is not always the case for everyone. This is why it's very important for you to attend all your cervical cancer screening appointments. The sooner abnormal cells in the cervix are caught, the sooner they can be monitored and treated.
Any of the following could be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods and menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding after sex, douching, or a pelvic examination
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after menopause
- Persistent pelvic and/or back pain
- Difficulty urinating or having a bowel movement
- Swelling of the legs
It’s important to keep in mind that symptoms could be caused by something other than cancer. However, to get a proper diagnosis, it’s wise to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or gynecologist if you have a new symptom that does not go away. If it is cancer, ignoring the symptoms may make it more difficult to treat.