Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women between the ages of 21 to 65 undergo a regular Pap smear screening every three years. Further, the USPSTF recommends that women undergo a screening for human papillomavirus, which is a leading cause of cervical cancer, every five years. These screens and tests are important because cervical cancer has been repeatedly called the “silent killer.”

Cervical cancer is often given this nickname because symptoms often do not appear, or are ignored until cervical cancer is in the later stages when it is harder to treat.

Learning how to identify some of the warning signs of cervical cancer is incredibly important, and it is important to discuss these symptoms and concerns with your doctor. Unfortunately, thousands of woman are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually because their doctor failed to properly screen them, or failed to identify and address the warnings signs of cervical cancer.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cervical cancer because of medical malpractice or neglect, consider contacting an experienced and dedicated cervical cancer lawyer.

Symptoms and Signs of Cervical Cancer

Women should be careful attention to the following symptoms, as they may be warning signs of cervical cancer.

  • Irregular bleeding – Irregular bleeding during or after intercourse, heavier or longer menstrual cycles, bleeding in between menstrual cycles, and bleeding after menopause can all be signs of cervical cancer.
  • Vaginal discharge – Women should pay attention to any vaginal discharge, particularly if the discharge is constant or has an odor.
  • Difficulty urinating – Because of the proximity of the reproductive organs and the urinary tract, difficulty urinating may indicate internal swelling and the growth of cervical cancer cells.
  • Pain in the back or legs – Constant pain in the lower back or legs may also be a warning sign of cervical cancer, as any growth may press on nerves.
  • Pain during intercourse – Pain during intercourse may also be an indication of cervical cancer due to internal swelling.

In addition to these signs, women should note any unexplained weight loss and monitor and report if they feel constantly fatigued.

The Doctor’s Role in Identifying the Warning Signs of Cervical Cancer

A doctor often plays an important role in screening for, detecting, and treating cervical cancer. Doctors should advise women between the ages of 21 and 65 to undergo regular screenings. In addition, doctors should advise women who have a family history of cervical cancer to undergo more regular screenings. Doctors may also counsel their patients about receiving a Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and undergoing HPV screens.

A doctor should be keenly attuned to the warning signs of cervical cancer in their patients. A doctor should carefully conduct all screenings to ensure they are accurate. If a doctor does not carefully conduct a Pap smear it can result in a false negative, which can result in precancerous cervical cells developing into cancer and spreading throughout the body.

Further, a doctor should follow up with patients regarding any irregularities or inconsistencies in their tests. All too often doctors fail to communicate with their patients about test results. A doctor’s obligation is to assess a woman with these symptoms and to screen them for cervical cancer. If a doctor fails to address these warning signs and symptoms they may have committed medical malpractice and can be held responsible for medical bills and expenses incurred as a result.

Contact a Cervical Cancer Attorney About the Warning Signs

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. Cervical cancer is highly treatable in its early stages, and therefore it is important to pay close attention to any of these symptoms and to have frank discussions with your doctor.

However, if you or a loved one have developed cervical cancer because a doctor failed to address these warning signs, failed to properly administer a test, or failed to follow up on test results, consider speaking with a cervical cancer lawyer to discuss your options.