ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.
Most women do not have any signs or symptoms of a precancer. In many women with early-stage cervical cancer, symptoms do typically appear. In women with advanced and metastatic cancers, the symptoms may be more severe depending on the tissues and organs to which the disease has spread. The cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer, which is why women need to seek medical care if they have a new symptom that does not go away.
Any of the following could be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer:
Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination
Increased vaginal discharge
Pain during sexual intercourse
Bleeding after menopause
Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain
Any of these symptoms should be reported to your doctor. If these symptoms appear, it is important to talk with your doctor about them even if they appear to be symptoms of other, less serious conditions. The earlier precancerous cells or cancer is found and treated, the better the chance that the cancer can be prevented or cured.
If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.
If cervical cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may be called palliative care or supportive care. It is often started soon after diagnosis and continued throughout treatment. Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.
The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.