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
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:
While Women's Health Matters takes all care to ensure that the information provided is up to date, we provide this information on the assumption that people accessing it will take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Department.