Symptoms of cervical cancer as well as uterine cancer symptoms and other gynecologic cancer signs do not start appearing until the disease has already progressed.
A gynecologic cancer starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. Quite often, cancer symptoms in women are not found until it’s too late. So, gynecological cancers are considered silent killers.
There are five main types of cancer that affect a woman’s reproductive organs: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancer. Each gynecologic cancer is unique with different signs, symptoms and risk factors.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). For 2015, these are ACS estimates for cervical cancer in the United States:
- About 12,900 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
- About 4,100 women will die from cervical cancer.
In the United States, Hispanic women are most likely to get cervical cancer, followed by African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders and whites. American Indians and Alaskan natives have the lowest risk of cervical cancer in the US.
All women are at risk for getting gynecological cancers. The risk increases with age. For example, more than 15% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65.
Due to increased screening using the Pap test, cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50% over the last 50 years. It used to be the most common cause of cancer death for American women.
The Pap test screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early — in its most curable stage. Cervical pre-cancers are diagnosed far more often than invasive cervical cancer.
When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment works best. You can prevent and lower your risk for some of these cancers by getting regular screening by your health care provider.
Learn the symptoms of cervical cancer as well as uterine cancer symptoms and other gynecologic cancer signs. You can download the pdf from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here: Gynecologic Cancer Symptoms Diary [PDF-503KB]. For the Spanish version, download this pdf: Diario de los síntomas del cáncer ginecológico [PDF-915KB].
You can prevent and lower your risk by getting regular screening. If you have symptoms, getting treatment for cancer early can help save your life.