Dr. Magtibay shares the causes and symptoms associated with cervical cancer.
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Dr. Magtibay on the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer Symptoms of cervical cancer usually don’t show up until fairly late in the disease process. Women who do have symptoms associated with cervical cancer will often times have abnormal or unpredictable bleeding from the vagina or they will have bleeding after intercourse. When the disease really is become much more advanced women will often times develop pain down the back of their legs because the tumor is progressing on their sciatic nerve, or they will develop pain in the rectal area or blood from the rectum or blood in the urine, secondary to the tumor invading the bladder. Fortunately, most women with the diagnosis of cervical cancer at Mayo Clinic are diagnosed early, meaning they don’t have any symptoms and the diagnosis is made because they have come in for their Papanicolaou smear or Pap smear, and we have noted some abnormality in those cells and the ultimate diagnostic workup has led to the diagnosis of cancer of the cervix. The vast majority of cervical cancers are caused by a virus called HPV or the human papillomavirus. We have made great strides in the study of cervical cancer when we found out that most cancers are caused by these viruses, and now we are able to identify those patients who are at higher risk for ultimately developing cervical cancer.