Irregular periods are not just menopause but can be sign of cervical cancer. Symptoms to watch out for | Health - Hindustan Times
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Irregular periods are not just menopause but can be sign of cervical cancer. Symptoms to watch out for

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 22, 2024 10:22 AM IST

Women must take note of any changes in their menstrual cycles, as irregular periods can sometimes be the only warning sign of cervical cancer. Here are symptoms

HPV awareness marks a pivotal moment in global health consciousness, spotlighting the pervasive yet preventable threat posed by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections and serves as a rallying cry to bolster education, advocacy and action against HPV-related diseases, including cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers. Women must pay attention to their bodies and take note of any changes in their menstrual cycles, as irregular periods can sometimes be the only warning sign of an underlying health issue like cervical cancer.

Irregular periods are not just menopause but can be sign of cervical cancer. Symptoms to watch out for (Photo by Twitter/RISCC_H2020)
Irregular periods are not just menopause but can be sign of cervical cancer. Symptoms to watch out for (Photo by Twitter/RISCC_H2020)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Jyoti Mehta, MD Radiation and Clinical Oncologist at TGH Onco Life Cancer Centre in Talegaon, shared, “By actively monitoring and addressing changes in menstrual patterns, women can take proactive steps toward maintaining their reproductive health and preventing this cancer. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cervix, the narrow passage between the uterus and the vagina. It is most commonly caused by persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to abnormal cell changes in the cervix as time passes by. These abnormal cells can develop into cancer if left untreated. Cervical cancer often progresses slowly, making early detection crucial for successful treatment.”

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According to her, the symptoms to watch out for cervical cancer are:

• Unusual discharge that may have a foul smell or contain blood

• ⁠Abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially between periods or after menopause

• Pelvic pain and discomfort during intercourse can be indicative of cervical cancer

• ⁠Irregular periods are often brushed off as a common part of menopause or hormonal changes in women.

Dr Jyoti Mehta said, “Irregular periods can be alarming and are often associated with cervical cancer but we can help you to understand the connection between irregular periods and cervical cancer. Remember, irregular periods could be the body’s way of signaling that something is amiss, urging women not to dismiss these changes lightly.”

She explained, “Irregular periods can be a sign of hormonal imbalances or underlying health issues that need to be addressed. One of the potential risks associated with irregular menstruation is an increased chance of developing cervical cancer. Changes in menstrual patterns, such as unpredictable bleeding or prolonged periods, may indicate abnormalities in the cervix that could lead to cancer if left untreated.”

The health expert elaborated, “According to studies, the correlation between irregular periods and cervical cancer highlights the importance of monitoring menstrual cycles for early detection and prevention. It's essential for women experiencing irregularities in their periods to seek medical attention and undergo routine screenings to ensure their overall reproductive health. By staying vigilant about any changes in menstrual patterns, individuals can take steps to minimise the risk of developing cervical cancer and prioritize their well-being.”

Women need to listen to their bodies and seek medical advice if their menstrual cycle deviates from the norm as early detection and treatment are key in combating cervical cancer caused by HPV. Don't ignore irregular periods as they could be your body's way of asking for attention before it is too late.

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