According to recent statistics, cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the world. Unfortunately, the numbers are not in the favor of African American women either. Black women are the second ethnicity most likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer and have a much higher mortality rate than other ethnic groups. With this in mind, the best way to protect yourself is to recognize the early signs of the disease and get in touch with your doctor quickly.
The Signs You Need To Know
When it comes to cervical cancer, doctors are quick to point out that it’s easy to miss the early signs of the disease. That’s because there may not be any signs or they’re very subtle.
Still, if you’re experiencing vaginal bleeding after sex, after a pelvic exam, or between periods, you should be concerned. You should also pay attention to pain after sex, longer menstrual bleeding, or an unusual vaginal discharge.
The list of signs gets longer if cervical cancer starts to spread. At that point, you might have pelvic pain, bone pain, swollen feet, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, persistent back pain, and trouble urinating.
Of course, it’s possible for these issues to be caused by illnesses other than cervical cancer but they should never be ignored.
How To Tell If You’re At Risk
Even if you’re not sure about what’s happening with your health, knowing your risk level can help to point you in the right direction. There are a few factors that can increase the risk of cervical cancer. These include a history of smoking, being exposed to certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), having other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis, and having a weakened immune system.
People who became sexually active at an earlier age as well as those who have had multiple partners may be at a higher risk too.
As mentioned previously, being Black is also considered a potential risk factor so you already have one reason to get checked out on a regular basis. While less likely, doctors are still interested in anyone who might have been exposed to
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