Cervical cancer symptoms include vaginal bleeding during or after sex, between your periods or after the menopause, or having heavier periods than usual, the NHS says
A red-flag sign of cervical cancer can be spotted while having sex – and if you notice anything unusual, you should see the doctor straight away.
The warning comes as the NHS pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040 with HPV virus jab efforts strengthened, due to it being the main cause of the disease. NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard outlined the ambition at NHS Providers’ annual conference in Liverpool on November 15 saying that the NHS will work to make it much easier for people to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and to increase uptake of cervical screening.
Not everyone diagnosed with this type of cancer will experience symptoms beforehand, according to Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Patient Claim Line’s litigation executive, Alexandra Penk, said: “In our client’s experience, symptoms of cervical cancer include pain or discomfort during sex.” Cancer Research UK said: “You should see your doctor straight away if you have this.”
Ms Penk added: “In England and Northern Ireland, you should expect to receive an invite every three years, if you are aged between 25 and 49. “If you are aged between 50 and 64, expect to receive an invite every five years. If you live in Scotland or Wales, you will be invited for screening every five years, between the ages of 25 and 64.
“If there’s been a delay in treating your cervical cancer, this is considered to be medical negligence. You are therefore entitled to make a claim for compensation.” Cervical cancer can be found anywhere in the cervix and mostly affects women under the age of 45.
Symptoms of cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you – including bleeding during or after sex, between your periods or after the menopause, or having heavier periods than usual, the NHS says. Other symptoms and signs can be changes to your vaginal discharge, pain during sex or pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis), or in your lower tummy.
If you have another condition like fibroids or endometriosis, you may get symptoms like these regularly. Cervical cancer is often treatable, but the treatment you will have depends on the size and type of cancer, where the cancer is, if it has spread and your general health.
The NHS explains: “It will usually include surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It may also include treatment with targeted medicines to treat the cancer.” Surgery may include removing part of the cervix, womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Sarah Carter is a health and wellness expert residing in the UK. With a background in healthcare, she offers evidence-based advice on fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being, promoting healthier living for readers.