Could a Missed Period Be a Sign of Cervical Cancer?

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According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 11,000 women in the United States, most of whom are under age 55, are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year. Although a missed period is not a sign of cervical cancer, other changes in vaginal bleeding may be warning signs of cervical cancer.

The Facts

  • Cervical cancer occurs when cells in your cervix (the reproductive organ that joins your uterus and vagina) become cancerous. Most instances of cervical cancer occur as a result of human papillomavirus infection.

Early Symptoms

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, early cervical cancer typically does not produce recognizable or noticeable signs and symptoms.

Advanced Symptoms

  • Specific changes in vaginal discharge that often accompany advanced cervical cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding or a discharge between periods, after sex or following menopause. The discharge is usually heavy, occurs more frequently than normal and may smell bad.

Missed Periods and Pregnancy

  • The most common cause of missed periods is pregnancy. If you miss your period and experience other early pregnancy symptoms, such as tender breasts and nausea, take a home pregnancy test to see if pregnancy is causing your missed periods.

Missed Periods

  • According to the American Pregnancy Association, a missed period could also be a sign of weight or hormone changes, stress, fatigue, infections or sexually transmitted diseases.

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