“Cancer is awful. It took 10 years until I didn’t think about it every day. Nobody should go through this. Nobody.” – Hans Rosling Like all other cancers, cervical cancer happens when there are abnormal cells that develop. In this case, these cells develop in the cervix. All women can be at risk of developing cervical cancer, and when these cells grow out of control they can be managed or detected with a Pap smear test.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, a woman’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small group of women, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cells on the surface of the cervix to become cancer cells.” When it’s discovered early enough, cervical cancer can be treated with success, like many other cancers. The important thing is to be aware of the signs of cervical cancer so you can get checked out and improve your chances of getting successful treatment.
1. Leg Pain With Swelling
Not all leg pains can be attributed to cervical cancer, this is true. However, barring a recent workout or injury, leg pain that cannot be attributed to something else may very well be a sign of cervical cancer, especially if the leg pain comes with swelling. According to Unity Point Health, “As cancer grows and becomes more advanced, it may start to press against nerves in the pelvic wall, resulting in leg pain and sometimes swelling.” Therefore, if there’s unattributed leg pain, it’s important to get checked out.
2. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Any abnormal discharge should be looked at by a gynecologist as soon as possible. All vaginal discharge should be colorless and mostly odorless, though you may very well smell some faint ‘body’-like a smell. However, if the discharge is a strange color or smells strong, it’s important to get that checked out. But why does this happen? According to Unity Point Health “If cervical cancer lacks oxygen, some cells may die off, infecting the tumor. The infection creates a foul-smelling vaginal discharge which serves as another symptom of cervical cancer. This continuous discharge may be pale, watery, brown, or mixed with blood.” It may not be cervical cancer, but strange discharge isn’t normal in the first place.