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Cervical Cancer Symptoms

in NJ, CT, & MD

Cervical cancer symptoms can vary for each patient. The skilled oncology team at Regional Cancer Care Associates is dedicated to providing compassionate cancer treatment to patients in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area. Learn more about cervical cancer symptoms and treatment options from our experienced oncologists and hematologists.

What Are Cervical Cancer Symptoms?

In its early stages, cervical cancer typically does not cause symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, some patients may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Pelvic or back pain
  • Vaginal bleeding following intercourse
  • Watery, bloody discharge
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Unusual bleeding between periods or after menopause
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unusual or heavy menstrual bleeding

When a woman begins to experience these symptoms, she should schedule an appointment with her gynecologist as soon as possible. While unexpected vaginal bleeding can also be a sign of a less serious condition, it’s important to rule out cervical cancer as the culprit. If the patient is diagnosed with cervical cancer early, she may have better treatment options and outcomes.

Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increase the risk for developing cervical cancer. In fact, the great majority of people who develop cervical cancer have been infected with human papillomavirus, or HPV. Other STIs that increase the risk for cervical cancer include: HIV/AIDS
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea

Having a weakened or compromised immune system can increase the risk of cervical cancer for some patients.

Finally, certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can also put individuals at heightened risk for developing cervical cancer in the future

Female patient holding stomach in pain with graphical overlay illustration of uterus

Stages of Cervical Cancer

Determining the stage of a patient’s cervical cancer is essential to finding the right treatment plan. The stages of cervical cancer are determined based on where and how much cancer has spread throughout the cervix. Cervical cancer is separated into five different stages:

  • Stage 0: Carcinoma is localized to the innermost lining of the cervix.
  • Stage I: Malignancy is still confined to the cervix, but has moved deeper into tissue and is 4-cm wide or more.
  • Stage II: Cancer has developed outside the uterus but not in the pelvic wall or lower vagina.
  • Stage III: Tumors are detected in the lower third of the vagina, pelvic wall, or regional lymph nodes. Kidney swelling and malfunction may occur at this stage.
  • Stage IV: Cancer has spread beyond the pelvis and into the bladder, rectum, or other regions of the body.

In addition to the five main stages, cases of cervical cancer may be categorized further into sub-stages. These sub-stages are based on further details on where the cancer is located and the extent of its spread. To determine the stage of a patient’s cervical cancer, physicians examine biopsy specimens and may use minimally invasive endoscopy tools to view the inside of the rectum or bladder. Additionally, physicians may use imaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to assess the location and spread of cancer.

Treatment Options for Cervical Cancer

The five-year relative survival rate for cervical cancer is 92% if the disease is detected at an early stage, but this percentage falls to 18% once the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are vital for higher life expectancy.

Before deciding on a treatment plan, physicians first determine the stage and type of cervical cancer. Patients are diagnosed with either adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. After making the diagnosis, physicians can determine how to best treat the patient’s cancer.

Treatment typically involves surgery, and depending on the type and size of the cancer, there are many surgical options available.

Additional treatment options, often used in conjunction with surgery, may include:

Seek Cervical Cancer Care from Regional Cancer Care Associates

The team of medical professionals at Regional Cancer Care Associates works to ensure that each patient receives cutting-edge, personalized, and compassionate care. Serving patients in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area, our oncologists and hematologists formulate treatment plans tailored to the unique circumstances of each patient. To learn more about cervical cancer symptoms and treatment options, contact us today.

RCCA’s personalized, caring approach to helping you beat cervical cancer

Although you’re not alone in facing cervical cancer, no other woman shares your unique combination of health status, lifestyle, family situation and age. For these and many other reasons, your care at RCCA is equally unique. From your first appointment, through treatment, while managing side effects and during post-treatment care, your RCCA team will be dedicated to your very individual journey back to good health.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.


View All Cancer Trials

When standard cancer treatments aren’t providing the results you want, clinical trials may offer hope. Our physicians use clinical trials to study new treatments, helping transform cancer care for the better. You can enroll in a clinical trial to try groundbreaking treatment plans at zero cost to you.

Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.