Cervical cancer affects the cells of the uterine cervix, which is the lower part (or ‘neck’) of the uterus where it joins the upper end of the vagina. Cervical cancer develops when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix begin to multiply out of control and form precancerous lesions. If undetected, these lesions can develop into tumours and spread into the surrounding tissue.
If early cell changes develop into cervical cancer, the most common signs include:
- vaginal bleeding between periods
- menstrual bleeding that is longer or heavier than usual
- bleeding after intercourse
- pain during intercourse
- unusual vaginal discharge
- vaginal bleeding after menopause
- excessive tiredness
- leg pain or swelling
- low back pain.
Cervical screening (previously the Pap test) is an important component to early detection and treatment of cervical cancer. For more information and local support services, go to: