Could a Missed Period Be a Sign of Cervical Cancer?


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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