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Precancerous lesions of the cervix usually do not cause any signs or symptoms. There are symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. With cervical cancer or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, symptoms may be more severe depending on the tissue or organ to which the disease has spread.
Symptoms are changes you feel in your body. Symptoms are changes that can be measured, such as blood pressure readings or laboratory tests. Together, signs and symptoms can help identify health problems. The cause of the signs and symptoms may be a medical condition, not cancer, so people may need to seek medical attention if new symptoms persist.
Any of the following may be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer.
Spotting or light bleeding between or after your period
Menstrual bleeding is longer and heavier than usual
Bleeding after intercourse, washing, or pelvic examination
Increased vaginal discharge
Pain during intercourse
Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain
Any of these symptoms should be reported to the doctor. If you experience these symptoms, even if you have other serious medical conditions, it is important to talk to your doctor. The earlier precancerous cells or cancer in the cervix are detected and treated, the higher the chance of cancer prevention and treatment.
If you’re concerned about any changes you’re experiencing, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will ask, among other questions, how long and how often you have been experiencing symptoms. This is called a diagnosis to help find the cause of the problem.
If cervical cancer is diagnosed, symptom relief remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. Symptom management may be called “palliative care” or “supportive care.” It usually begins soon after diagnosis and continues throughout treatment. Be sure to talk to your health care team about any symptoms you’re experiencing, including new symptoms or changes in symptoms.