There are usually no symptoms with abnormal cells (in their pre-cancerous state) and sometimes also no symptoms with early stage cervical cancer. However, there are some recognised symptoms associated with the disease. These include;
- Abnormal bleeding: after or during sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post menopausal bleeding, if you are not on HRT or have stopped it for six weeks
- Unusual and/or unpleasant vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sex
- Lower back pain.
If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms or are concerned about any new symptom you should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. Remember, these symptoms can be associated with many other conditions that are not cancer related.
Not all women diagnosed with cervical cancer experienced symptoms this means attending regular cervical screening is even more important.
As cancer develops, it can cause further symptoms;
- Frequency of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Rectal bleeding
- Lower limb lymphoedema.
Jo's Trust Case Study
Jill describes the symptoms she experienced prior to being diagnosed with cervical cancer:
In September 2007, I had a clear smear, as I always had every 3 years. In the following months I notice a tiny amount of blood. I thought nothing of this as it was tiny. This spot of blood continued for a few weeks, so I decide to visit my G.P. He said it was probably my age, but he would refer me to a gynaecologist.