Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer in women in the UK. Around 3,200 people are diagnosed with it every year. Here’s a symptom that you can actually smell and know. While Vaginal discharge is normal and even healthy, you should look out for it if the following happens.
Symptoms you need to look out for
Early on in the illness, there are no evident signs, therefore it is recommended to continue having regular smears when your doctor reminds you to. However, according to the NHS, changes to your vaginal discharge are one of the crucial indicators. The Sun reports that a change in vaginal discharge does not only mean a change in its texture, colour, and consistency but also a change in its smell. Cancer Research UK experts state:
Some women also have a vaginal discharge that smells unpleasant and pain in the area between the hip bones.
However, a change in vaginal discharge isn’t always cancer and you should definitely consult a GP or a sexual health clinic to know for sure. Apart from discharge, the following are also a symptom of Cervical cancer:
- Pain and discomfort during sex, lower back or pelvis, sides or back caused by kidneys
- Vaginal bleeding during sex
- Irregular bleeding in between periods or after menopause
- Pooping or peeing more than usual
- Blood in pee
- Swelling in legs
How to detect cervical cancer?
Getting a smear test is one of the simplest ways to identify and prevent cervical cancer. As a preventive measure, they are used to find abnormal cells on the cervix, which is the opening to the womb from the vagina. Cervical cancer can be avoided by finding these cells early and eliminating them.
However, it is not the ultimate test to detect cancer, smear tests only detect abnormalities in around 20 women. Thus, it is recommended to get cervical screening carried out by the NHS done regularly.