Regular screenings and a vigilant watch for any warning signs could save your life against cervical cancer.
While cervical cancer used to be one of the top causes of death among American women, fatalities among cervical cancer patients are now on the decline. A renewed dedication to early detection has made successful recoveries a reality for many women. Most doctors recommend a yearly pap test to ensure all is well, but women who notice any abnormalities between appointments should schedule a visit with their gynecologist right away. Warnings signs can include:
- Vaginal bleeding – Blood that cannot be linked with menstruation or ovulation should be investigated. Women who have reached menopause should definitely stay alert to any episodes of unexplained bleeding.
- Pain – Cervical cancer may cause a range of abdominal pains throughout the day, or it may cause pain specifically linked with sexual intercourse. If you aren't sure why a pain is occurring, ask your doctor.
- Abnormal vaginal secretions – If your cervical fluid becomes unusually heavy, oddly colored, or if it begins creating a strong or foul odor, it may be a sign that you need medical attention.
For many women, cervical cancer will display no symptoms or warnings signs until it reaches its most advanced stages. Do not rely on your own observations alone. Pap tests are a crucial element of your personal healthcare.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Learn more about cervical cancer at our online health library. Do you need to schedule a pap test or exam? Call our free Consult-a-Nurse® service any time, day or night, to find a physician or schedule an appointment. Our number is (305) 285-2929.