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Call For Cervical Care

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 13,240 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. Sunny Rodricks tells you about the potential signs of cervical cancer that you should look out for

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women across the globe. It occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus, and can affect women of all ages. Cervical cancer does not show any symptoms in its initial stages, but once it spreads to the bladder, liver, intestines or lungs, the symptoms become prominent.

“The risk factors for cervical cancer are many. However, early onset of sexual activity, multiple partners (with either of the couple), catching other sexually transmitted diseases, a weak immunity and prolonged smoking are considered high risk for HPV infection and cervical cancer,” says Dr. Renuka Matti, gynaecologist and oncologist at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai. Here we tell you about the signs of cervical cancer that you shouldn’t ignore.

SERIOUS SIGNS

These signs are serious indications of cervical cancer and shouldn’t be ignored.

Abnormal bleeding

Irregular vaginal bleeding could be a sign that something is not right. It could hint at medical conditions such as a hormonal imbalance, pelvic inflammatory disease or an infection in the pelvic organs. Dr. Anita Chavan, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at AXIS Hospital, Andheri, tells us that if you suffer from irregular vaginal bleeding, especially after intercourse, you should consult a gynaecologist immediately.

Unusual vaginal discharge

A little clear, odourless vaginal discharge is normal. But, if vaginal discharge increases, smells foul or has an irregular appearance, it could be a sign of infection or a cervical or endometrial issue. If vaginal discharge is heavy, pale, watery, brown or mixed with blood, it’s best to consult your OB-GYN.

Pain during intercourse

Painful sexual intercourse is not something that you should ignore or be silent about. It could signal the need for a thorough check-up. However, pain during intercourse could also indicate that you have an infection or an STD.

SUBTLE SIGNS

These signs don’t necessarily indicate cervical cancer, but require attention, too.

Pain in the leg

The swelling of the cervix can lead to obstructed blood flow. This can lead toswelling in your legs, giving rise to a sore, painful sensation. “Physiotherapy provides symptom relief by addressing impairments such as fatigue, muscle weakness and management of pain,” says physiotherapist Dr. Gladys Swamy, Minerva Physiotherapy Clinic, Kurla.

Discomfort while urinating

Discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating should not be ignored, especially if the pain becomes an everyday occurrence. Urinary discomfort includes a burning, stinging or tight sensation while urinating. These signs might indicate that an infection has spread to nearby organs.

Changes in menstruation

Pay attention to a change in the time or frequency of your periods. With cervical cancer, you may experience a large range in menstruation. If you’re periods are heavier and last longer than usual, your body could be giving you a sign that something’s not right.

Weight loss & fatigue

Any cancer leads to a reduction in the number of healthy blood cells. This can cause anaemia, leading to fatigue, which eventually leads to weight loss. And women suffering from cervical cancer may experience considerable weight loss.

Loss of bladder control

Those with cervical cancer tend to visit the bathroom more frequently and might even see blood in their urine. The latter is a more serious sign, which, if experienced, warrants intervention by a doctor immediately.

Back pain

Those suffering from cervical cancer complain of intense back pain. Warning signs include a sudden discomfort or not being able to sit upright.

CARE TO CURE

Dr. Pradnya Parulkar, consultant gynaecologist at Bhatia Hospital, says that early detection is the key to treatment and cure of cervical cancer. “Pap smears and detection of HPV play an important role. It’s recommended to do Pap smears every three years after the age of 21,” she advises.

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