Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women but with the advent of the Pap test, cancer death rates dropped significantly.
What is cervical cancer?
A cancer that starts in the cells of the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus.
Risk factors for cervical cancer include the following:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Smoking cigarettes
- Age older than 60
- Being overweight
- Use of certain hormone or fertility medicine
- A family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) when your mother was pregnant with you
Possible signs and symptoms*:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding after sex
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge between your normal monthly periods
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge after menopause
- Pelvic pain or low back pain
- Swelling in your legs from fluid buildup
*There are usually no early signs or symptoms of cervical cancer. Regular check-ups are one of the best methods of detecting cancer early.