Cervical Cancer – The Early Symptoms
Nearly 13,000 women in the United States will experience symptoms of cervical cancer during its earliest stages every year. This disease is the second leading cancer among women throughout the world.
It is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. The vast majority of these infections will not cause cancer. However, this virus can cause abnormalities in the cells in the cervix.
This results in lesions that can lead to the initial symptoms of cervical cancer, if they are left untreated.
A woman has a much greater chance for survival if her cancer is detected early. Some of the early symptoms that a woman will experience include pelvic pain, unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding after sexual intercourse, and heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle. Other symptoms are increased frequency in urination, and pain during sexual intercourse.
If a doctor suspects that a woman is experiencing the early symptoms, the protocol is to do a pap smear. This is the best way to evaluate a woman’s cells in the region of her cervix to detect abnormalities. This test is for the early stages of cervical cancer and it can reveal the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The results from pap smears fall into different classifications.
They are generally classified from I through V. Class I means the cells fall into the normal range. Class II means that there is some inflammation and irritation. Class III means that there are some abnormalities. They can be from mild to severe. Class V means that the woman has cervical cancer.
Although pap smears can be useful, the results they yield are not always accurate. Sometimes the tests give a false normal reading. That is why if a woman believes that she is experiencing the early symptoms
and her test results come back normal, she should get a second opinion from another lab and consult another physician.
Another method that is used to detect early symptoms is through the use of a small fiber optic. This is a newer procedure and it may offer more accurate results, reduce the need for unneeded biopsies, and help doctors detect the disease in its earliest stages.
Women can experience the early stages of this disease without even knowing it. This is partially due to the fact that the disease progresses very slowly. As a result, women often don’t find out that they have this cancer until it is in the advanced stages, when the prognosis is not good.