Cervical cancer

Noticing symptoms

Cervical cancer

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Cancers and other diseases can cause symptoms. These are changes in your body that you notice. Cervical cancer often causes changes to vaginal bleeding.  

Symptoms can be caused by many illnesses, not just cancer, but it is always best to have them checked out by a GP. 

What you need to know

Cervical cancer symptoms

Symptoms that can be caused by cervical cancer include:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding, including
    • bleeding between periods
    • periods that are heavier or longer than usual
    • bleeding during or after sex
    • bleeding after menopause
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • pain during sex.
Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. Cancers that are diagnosed early can be easier to treat.

Cervical cancers found through screening

Not all cervical cancers are found because of symptoms. Most are found through screening.

Cervical screening is a way of finding changes that could cause cancer. This is important as cervical cancers that are found early are easier to treat.

Australia has a National Cervical Screening Program which uses the Cervical Screening Test. All women between the ages of 25 and 74 should have this test.

Screening is for people who don’t have any symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Next steps

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that you are worried about, even if they seem minor, you should go to see a GP. Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. 

Remember, cancers that are found earlier can be easier to treat.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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