Cervical cancer can be present with symptoms or not. Early stage cervical cancers do not usually have symptoms and are frequently detected through cervical screening. However, there are some recognised symptoms associated with cervical cancer:
- abnormal bleeding
- post menopausal bleeding
- unusual discharge
- discomfort/pain during sex
- lower back pain.
In 2012, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust ran a survey asking 170 women who had been through cervical cancer, if prior to diagnosis, they experienced any symptoms that could have been related to cervical cancer. Almost 70% of participants in the survey said they had experienced symptoms and of those abnormal bleeding was the most recognised symptom followed by unusual or unpleasant discharge. Importantly of those participants who experienced symptoms of cervical cancer only 30% said they recognised these symptoms as being related to cervical cancer.
For Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2013, we urge women who have experienced any of the symptoms above to talk to a GP. Let's make sure women are talking about changes in their body and ensuring they seek medical attention if necessary - chances are it won't be cervical cancer but better to get it checked!
You can help us raise awareness by ordering our new poster.
And of course by talking about symptoms...