Cervical cancer is a very dangerous condition which can thankfully be avoided if caught on time. As with many other types of cancer, catching the disease early is vital for successful treatment.

HPV (human papilloma virus) is a highly contagious virus which is responsible for development of cervical cancer. This virus is a common STI which comes in many types. It can either go away on its own, or stay long enough in your system to cause abnormal cell growth and subsequently, cervical cancer. The signs of this deadly disease are not easily recognized, but there are symptoms which you should look out for. Here are some of them:

1. Pain or bleeding
Cervical cancer develops on the walls of the cervix which dry out over time and crack, causing pain and bleeding. The same problem may cause rectal or bladder bleeding, which is a cause for concern – in fact, any kind of internal bleeding outside of your period should be examined.

2. Anemia
If you haven’t changed your diet and you’re feeling weak, or your heart rate is suddenly increased, you may be suffering from anemia. Abnormal bleeding is usually responsible for this condition which is usually seen along cervical cancer.

3. Unusual vaginal discharge
The cells of the uterine walls begin to die off when cervical cancer starts developing, resulting in an unusual watery discharge from the vagina.

4. Urinary problems
As the cervical cancer develops, the cervix begins to swell, putting pressure on the kidneys and obstructing the normal urinal flow. This will make it more difficult to pee and you may also experience pain and urinary tract infections.

5. Weight loss
Every type of cancer either increases or reduces appetite. The swelling of the cervix may affect the stomach as well, causing decreased appetite and sudden weight loss.

6. Pain in the legs, hips or back
As the swollen cervix presses on other organs, blood vessels get compressed and obstruct proper blood flow, resulting in pain in the legs, hips or back.

The aforementioned symptoms, however, are not always sign of cervical cancer. In order to see if you’re suffering from this terrible disease, you must be properly examined by a doctor.

These are the main risk factors of HPV:

Smoking or breathing in second-hand smoke;
Multiple sexual partners;
Unprotected sex;
Weakened immune system.

Preventative exams such as pap smears can detect cervical cancer early which is why you should take them every year.