Cervical cancer is the cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix (lower part of the uterus), and is usually caused by strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Generally, when a woman is exposed to HPV, her immune system prevents the virus from doing any harm. However, for certain women, the virus manages to survive for years, leading to the development of cervical cancer.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
- Vaginal bleeding
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may have an unpleasant smell
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse
How can early screening help?
Most symptoms tend to occur at an advanced stage, when treatment becomes more difficult. In most cases, early stage cervical cancer does not have any symptoms. This means it is very important for women to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer, by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that prevents them from getting HPV.