Women's health | Health

10 Early Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer That Women Always Ignore

Having your doctor tell you that you have cancer can be a terrifying moment. It's scary to think that there is a illness growing inside your body that you have no control over. Cervical cancer affects thousands of women in the country every year, but many don't know what to watch out for.

The Pap test screens for cervical cancer, but many women are unaware of the early symptoms that could help save their life. There are a lot of signs of cervical cancer that could be disguised as other chronic conditions. It can be difficult to diagnose early, but it's important to know what to look out for if you want to try. These 10 symptoms may be trying to tell you that something is going on in your body that needs to be addressed.

1. Constipation

Changes to your bowel habits may indicate that there is something wrong. Whether it's constipation or a persistent feeling that you need to go, you should consider talking to your doctor.

2. Frequent urination

Like your bowels, experiencing changes to your urination can indicate that there is something off in your body. If you find that you are having to urinate more often then you may want to get screened.

3. Blood in urine

Seeing blood in your urine is obviously never a good thing, but you should make sure you tell your doctor so they can do the appropriate tests.

4. Severe pain in your side and back

This symptom is often ignored by women because it seems to normal to have back pain, but it could actually be caused by your kidneys swelling from a build up of urine which is often a symptom of cervical cancer.

5. Swelling or pain in one of your legs

As cancer grows, it will start to press on nerves in your body. It may touch on one of the nerves in your pelvic wall that can cause swelling and pain down your whole leg.

Those aren't the only symptoms you can watch out for...

6. Loss of appetite or sudden weight loss

Some women find they are no longer hungry, while others continue eating and still experience a dramatic weight loss.

7. Pain during intercourse

If you experience pain, it could be because there is tumor growth in the tissues and reproductive organs.

8. Foul smelling vaginal discharge

While some discharge is normal, when there is an infection like cancer the cells in your vagina may die off causing it to develop an unpleasant smell. The discharge itself may differ in color, and can sometimes have blood in it.

9. Abnormal vaginal bleeding

It's important to watch out for abnormalities in vaginal bleeding. If you are experiencing heavier than normal periods, longer periods, or any bleeding in between periods you may have something wrong.

10. Lack of energy and general fatigue

If you are feeling extremely tired all the time, even after getting a full night's rest, you should consult a doctor. Even if it's not cervical cancer it could be a vitamin deficiency of some kind that should be addressed.

Your health is important, and the best defense is early detection. If you are experiencing these symptoms consult your doctor.