Symptoms

The symptoms of cervical cancer depend largely upon which stage of progression the cancer has reached. In the early stages of cervical cancer, for instance, very few symptoms can be observed and many individuals experience no symptoms whatsoever. This is one of the reasons that it's vital to get regularly screened for cervical cancer and other types of health issues because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, particularly with something as potent as cancer of the cervix.

The reason there are typically no early symptoms of cervical cancer is due to the way in which this disease grows. It's a disease that is rather slow to develop and the location does not lend itself to particular sensitivity or visibility. Even though the cells of the cervix are undergoing changes (technically known as dysplasia), the direct effects may not be obvious. Some malignancies that develop close to a strong blood supply, for instance, may chip off and produce a bloody appearance. In the early stages of cervical cancer this does not occur.

As the disease progresses, there may be several symptoms that appear which are discussed below. It's important to note, however, that even in later stages of cervical cancer, many women are completely asymptomatic and only prevention, regularly screenings and pap smears will catch it early enough to be treated with maximum efficacy.

Some of the symptoms of cervical cancer in women who have had the disease for a while are:
• Vaginal Bleeding - Most women will experience somewhat unusual and seemingly random vaginal bleeding following various routine occurrences. For instance, vaginal bleeding can be observed after having sex, in between periods of menstruation and after a woman reaches menopause.
• Vaginal Discharge - Most women are quite in tune with their bodies and notice minute changes in odor, color and appearance of their vaginal secretions even if they are only paying attention passively. A bloody, watery vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor and a somewhat heavy consistency may be an indication of the disruption of a woman's normal functioning.
• Pain During Sex - This is another potential indicator that a woman may have cancer of the cervix. You might also notice pelvic pain where there was none before.
Some of the advanced symptoms of cervical cancer may include:
• Back Pain - The various parts of the body are intimately connected and it's possible that problems in the cervix can manifest as back pain.
• Bone Fractures - This is typically a sign of advanced cervical cancer and indicates a general weakness of the body.
• Swollen lymph nodes - The lymph nodes are stations of immunity that swell up any time the body is facing some sort of microscopic threat.