Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

While early stages of cervical cancer may not have noticeable signs or symptoms, advanced cervical cancer may cause:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Discharge

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Though these signs may not mean that you have cancer, only your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosing Cervical Cancer

As part of your regular gynecologic checkup, and especially if you’re at risk for cervical cancer or are experiencing symptoms, it is important to be screened. Fortunately, there are early screening tests for cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV).

  • The Pap test (Pap smear) looks for pre-cancer or cell changes of the cervix that may become cervical cancer if left untreated.
  • The HPV test looks for the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cell changes and possibly cause cancer.

Your doctor may order additional tests to determine whether you have cervical cancer. Testing can also clarify the stage of the condition and provide information about whether to start, change, continue, or stop treatment.