Cervical cancer is a malignant tumor of the cells of the cervix. In most cases, this cancer affects women under the age of 50, but women can also get cervical cancer after menopause.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer after menopause?
Cervical cancer progresses slowly; cervical cancer may not have any symptoms in the early stages of the tumor. Unfortunately, this cancer often becomes symptomatic when the tumor is very advanced and has invaded and involved surrounding tissues, including organs and organs in the pelvis and abdomen.
Cervical tumor can respond very well to treatment if diagnosed in the early stages, but unfortunately in the advanced stages of surgery it will be impossible and treatment will be unsuccessful.
So the first and most important step is for women to be aware of the symptoms of cervical cancer even after menopause, and if these symptoms occur, be sure to see a doctor for further examination.
What our doctors will cover in this article will be cervical cancer symptoms in menopause.
Before enumerating the symptoms, we note that many of the symptoms of cervical cancer are nonspecific, meaning that you may also see these symptoms for reasons other than cancer and malignant tumors, so the best way would be to see a doctor.
The good news is that a very simple test, performed at a very low cost and time, will help you to be aware of the presence of cervical cancer before it develops and to seek treatment. Women should see a doctor after the age of 40 (in most cases) every year for a Pap smear test. This method is called cervical cancer screening.
If you have any of the following symptoms between sessions, you should see your doctor for a checkup
When should we see a doctor?
- Unexplained bleeding or spotting:
- Bleeding after sex
- Vaginal bleeding and Spotting after menopause
- Excessive bleeding after pelvic examination
- Severe bleeding after vaginal douching
- Vaginal foul-smelling discharge:
Milky, sticky discharge is naturally present in healthy women if you have a watery, bulky, smelly vaginal discharge, be sure to see your doctor for further examination.
- Pain during vaginal intercourse:
Tumor growth in the cervix can cause pain during vaginal intercourse. This symptom usually occurs in the advanced stages of a cervical tumor.
Therefore, pain and bleeding during vaginal intercourse in women after menopause should be considered as a warning sign that may be caused by cervical cancer, therefore, a careful examination of your doctor is necessary, remember that pain and bleeding during vaginal intercourse can have other non-cancerous causes. And you should leave it to your doctor to diagnose and differentiate the cause.
An inflammation of the cervix or cervicitis:
Inflammation and infection of the vagina or vaginitis or even uterine polyps and endometriosis can be accompanied by pain and sometimes bleeding during and after sexual intercourse.
So not all causes are tumors and cancers.
- Persistent pelvic pain:
Women with advanced cervical cancer may complain of low back pain and persistent pelvic pain.
Persistent pelvic pain in women should not be neglected, it is a serious symptom that must be examined by a doctor.
- Abnormal Pap smear:
Not all abnormalities reported as a result of Pap smear are exclusively related to cancer and malignancy, but you should leave the diagnosis and follow-up to your doctor.
- Severe loss of appetite:
Severe and significant weight loss
Significant weight loss means that you have lost 20% of your weight in the last six months without severe dietary and exercise restrictions.
Like all inflammatory processes in cancers, cervical tumors are associated with decreased appetite and weight loss.
- Swelling of the legs:
In advanced stages, cervical cancer can spread to the pelvic lymph nodes between the limbs and the pelvic bones. Involvement of the pelvic lymph nodes disrupts the normal flow of lymph fluid and Accumulation of lymph in the lower part of the pelvis causes swelling of the leg and pain in the leg.
Infection with HPV or Human papilloma virus is a predisposing factor for cervical cancer changes. Women with HPV are more likely to get cervical cancer than other women, so if you have HPV and have one or more of the above symptoms, do not waste time seeing your doctor.
It is also said that women living with HIV are more likely to develop cervical cancer than other women, this increase may be due to a weakened immune system caused by HIV.
Spontaneous clearance of HPV is highly dependent on the strength of the infected person’s immune system, so weakened immunity in HIV-infected people will increase the possibility of malignant changes in cervical cells caused by the human papillomavirus.
What are the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer in menopause?
So, in summary, the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer in menopause are:
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after intercourses
- Vaginal Spotting or vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Unexplained ،persistent pelvic and/or back pain
Menopause itself does not increase the risk of cervical cancer, but it is age that increases the risk of infection, so the chances of women getting it after menopause will continue to increase due to age.