Cervical cancer is one of the most common diseases affecting Indonesian women. This disease is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which is usually transmitted through sexual contact. Often, women are late knowing that they are infected with the virus. This is because women are late to check themselves to the doctor. For that, it is important for you to know the symptoms of cervical cancer and check yourself early.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Usually women who have an HPV virus infection do not show any symptoms. This virus can sometimes disappear by itself. However, some also develop into cervical cancer. Because it does not show various symptoms of cervical cancer at an early stage, it is no wonder many women who know the disease is serious when first examined.
Therefore, it is important for every woman to know the various symptoms of cervical cancer. By knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer, women can detect cervical cancer early and can be treated more quickly.
Early symptoms of cervical cancer
Symptoms of cervical cancer will usually appear when cancer cells grow through the upper surface of cervical tissue to the underlying tissue. This happens when precancerous cells are not treated and eventually turn into cancer cells. At this time, the most common symptoms of cervical cancer are:
Irregular vaginal bleeding. This is the most common symptom of cervical cancer that has developed. Bleeding can occur between menstrual periods or after you have sex. In menopausal women, bleeding can also occur even though he is not menstruating. Sometimes, this bleeding appears as vaginal discharge mixed with blood.
Unusual vaginal discharge. This can also be a sign that you are suffering from cervical cancer. This leucorrhoea can occur starting from pure white to slightly brown in color, smelling foul, runny, and also mixed with blood.
Pelvic pain. Pelvic pain you can feel during intercourse or at other times. This can be a sign that there is an abnormal change in your cervix.
If you already experience these initial symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Symptoms of cervical cancer when it is severe
Other symptoms can also occur when your cervical cancer has gotten worse and progresses to the next stage. Further symptoms of cervical cancer are:
- Back pain
- Weight loss
- Having difficulty urinating and defecating or you can also experience urine leakage or feces from the vagina
- Swelling in the legs, one or both
- Cracked bones
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Of course. You can prevent cervical cancer in various ways. Start with yourself. You can reduce the risk of cervical cancer by reducing the chance of you getting infected with the HPV virus. Some ways you can do to avoid infection with the HPV virus are:
Carrying out the HPV vaccine. If you are between 9-26 years old, this might be the best way to protect yourself from infection with the HPV virus. HPV vaccine can strengthen your body’s immunity against the HPV virus (if at any time it enters your body). It is recommended that you get an HPV vaccine before you are sexually active.
Perform regular pap smears. By doing a pap smear, you can see the changes that occur in cells in your cervix. Thus, cells that lead to cervical cancer can be detected earlier and prevention can be done. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have a pap smear based on your age and medical condition.
Having safe sex. Remember, the HPV virus spreads through sexual contact. So, it is highly recommended that you always have safe sexual relations, such as always using a condom and not changing partners.
Do not smoke. Women who smoke have a greater risk for developing cervical cancer.