Cervical cancer is the most common Human papillomavirus (HPV) related disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost all cases of cervical cancer can be attributed to HPV. HPV is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract.
Women and men who are sexually active will, according to most experts, become infected at some point in their lives, and the infection could occur more than once.
The most common time for both genders to become infected is shortly after they become sexually active, and all that’s needed for an HPV infection to develop is skin to skin genital contact, not full penetrative sex. This is why the HPV vaccine is commonly recommended/pushed, particularly for young girls. It’s known as the Gardasil vaccine (you can find out more information about it here), and many people consider it unnecessary because, as Dr. Diane Harper (one of a select few HPV experts in the world, who helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published papers about it) explains in the video below, odds are that the infection is going to clear on its own.
Dr. Harper believes that vaccination will not decrease the number of cervical cancer cases, but a routine of regular pap smears will. She has also stated that there is absolutely zero proof that these vaccines work, or that they are safe and effective, yet major health authorities stress clinical trial results show both vaccines to be safe and very effective in preventing infection with HPV.
I apologize if you’ve seen this video before in my articles, but it’s important to note when it comes to this subject.
With all of the above being said, it’s also important to mention that worldwide, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 530,000 new cases in 2012, representing 7.5% of all female cancer deaths. Of the more than 270,000 estimated deaths from cervical cancer every year, more than 85% of these occur in less developed regions.
10 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore
1. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause. Although this could be due to other medical conditions, it is a telltale sign of possible cervical cancer. If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding between periods or after sexual intercourse then you definitely want to contact your doctor.
2. Unusual Vaginal Discharge
If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge, it could be a result of bacterial vaginosis, menopause symptoms, or yeast infection. It could also be harmless, but significant changes in discharge are still worth getting checked out.
If the smell is very foul, becomes a more common occurrence, or is brownish, heavy, pale, or blood-tinged, it could be a sign of cervical cancer. It could also be a sign of various other conditions. Again, if this is happening contact your doctor right away.
3. Discomfort While Urinating
Pain during urination can be a sign of cervical cancer, this is a symptom that usually occurs when the cancer has already spread to the bladder. In most cases, however, this type of pain is a sign of something far less serious, like a urinary tract infection.
4. Pain During Sex
Discomfort during sexual intercourse could also be another sign. Again, just to reiterate, many of these symptoms signify a far less worrisome issue, but you never know, especially if you are experiencing multiple symptoms at once. Pain during sex can be a late onset symptom of cervical cancer, and could indicate that the cancer has spread throughout the reproductive organs and tissues.
5. Heavier & Longer Menstrual Periods
Abnormal and heavier menstrual periods are another sign of cervical cancer. Irritation of the cervix, possibly due to cervical cancer, can also occur.
6. Loss of Bladder Control
Bladder control is a big issue when it comes to cervical cancer, and it’s one area of the body where cervical cancer commonly spreads. People with cervical cancer often experience loss of bladder control as well as a hint of blood discharge during urination.
7. Body Pain
A common symptom of cervical cancer is body pains, more specifically, pain in the leg, back, and/or pelvis. Women with cervical cancer often experience swelling of the legs, because the cancer spreads and obstructs blood flow. It can get to the point where basic simple movements are difficult to do. It’s common for women who are experiencing these symptoms as a result of cervical cancer to have prolonged pain which increases as time goes on.
8. Constant Fatigue
Constant fatigue could be also be a sign, especially if it is in conjunction with some of the other symptoms mentioned in this article. When there is disease in your body, it will work hard to do its best to try and fight it off. Your body then becomes tired as a result of these various biological processes.
9. Unexplained Weight Loss
The body produces small proteins called cytokines, which break down fat at a much higher rate than normal. This leads to weight loss, irrespective of your diet, when you are fighting disease. As with many other cancers, the same applies here.