Gynecological Cancers: The Signs and Symptoms

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Gynecological Cancers: The Signs and Symptoms

Read on to learn about the various signs and symptoms that may signal a gynecological cancer concern.

Every year, nearly 100,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, endometrial or ovarian cancer.

Unfortunately, because symptoms for these cancers are often vague, many women mistake them for other less serious conditions. It is important to know exactly what to look for because gynecologic cancers are usually treatable when found early.

The following 10 symptoms are those of cervical and other gynecologic cancers:

  1. Swollen leg. This may be a sign of cervical cancer. Typically, though, a swollen leg isn’t a sign of cancer unless there’s also pain, discharge or other symptoms.
  2. Abnormal vaginal bleeding. More than 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer experience abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  3. Unexplained weight loss. Women who suddenly lose more than 10 pounds without changing diet or exercise habits should see their doctor.
  4. Vaginal discharge colored with blood. Bloody, dark or smelly discharge usually signals infection. But sometimes, it’s a sign of cervical or endometrial cancer.
  5. Frequent bathroom breaks. Constantly need to use the bathroom or feel continuous bladder pressure? This may be a sign of cancer. Take note especially if you also feel full, have abdominal pain and are experiencing bloating.
  6. Loss of appetite or constant feeling full. If you notice a change in your appetite or are constantly “full,” these changes may be symptoms of ovarian cancer.
  7. Pain in the pelvis or abdominal area. Ongoing abdominal pain or discomfort — including gas, indigestion, pressure, bloating and cramps — can signal ovarian cancer. Constant pelvic pain or pressure can also be a sign of endometrial cancer.
  8. Belly bloat. Women often feel bloated after eating or drinking a lot, especially during their menstrual cycles. A woman may have ovarian cancer if she continues to feel bloated for more than two weeks or after her period ends.
  9. Constant fatigue. A little rest should typically cure fatigue. But women should see a doctor if fatigue constantly interferes with work or leisure activities.
  10. Persistent indigestion or nausea. Occasionally, persistent indigestion or nausea can signal gynecologic cancers, so play it safe and see a doctor.

Although having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean that you have cancer, if any one of the mentioned symptoms persists for more than two weeks, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor.

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