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8 little known symptoms of cervical cancer you should watch out for

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We hear all about the symptoms of breast cancer on a regular basis, but there’s another type of cancer that is common in women: cervical cancer. According to Cancer.net, “Cervical cancer begins when healthy cells on the surface of the cervix change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor.”

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the cancer isn’t easy to catch in the early stages, because there aren’t noticeable symptoms. In order to catch cervical cancer and start treatment, women are advised to get a pap smear once a year, starting at age 21.

However, if you feel like something’s off and you still have a while until your next yearly appointment, it’s important that you know the symptoms of cervical cancer and see a doctor right away. Here are some of the symptoms you should watch out for:

1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge

Any changes to your period should be discussed with your doctor. If your flow gets heavier than usual, you’re bleeding when you’re not supposed to be or if you have unusual discharge, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible to find the cause. It may not even be cervical cancer, but it’s important to find the cause of any period irregularity.

2. Pelvic pain

Pelvic pain is also a symptom of cervical cancer. According to Prevention, it can be anything from a sharp pain to a dull ache. If this pain is new, recurring and is unrelated to your cycle, you’ll want to talk to your doctor.

3. Pain during sexual intercourse

Pain during sex can be caused by many other things, but if you’re suddenly feeling pain when you never have before, it could be a sign of cervical cancer. Don’t panic and assume you have cancer though – bring up your concerns with your doctor to figure out what’s going on.

4. Leg pain or swelling

You might experience leg pain or swelling when your cancer is in more advanced stages. See your doctor immediately if this occurs. Even if it’s not cervical cancer, you can prevent or fix any other health problems that might be the culprit.

5. Bone fractures

Bone fractures are another sign of a more advanced cervical cancer. When the cancer spreads, it can affect your bones, causing them to fracture easily.

6. Unexplained weight loss

Unexplained weight loss can come from many different health problems, but keep cervical cancer in mind when you experience this symptom (especially if paired with others on this list). If you experience a drop in weight and you haven’t changed your diet or exercise routine, you should talk to a doctor.

7. Bleeding after menopause

If you’ve already been through menopause and you start experiencing vaginal bleeding, you should see a doctor to figure out what’s wrong. This is a common symptom of cervical cancer and should be looked at immediately.

8. You have a history of smoking

This isn’t a symptom of cervical cancer, but it’s definitely a risk factor. If you smoke or have a history of smoking, Prevention warns that your “tobacco habit could roughly double [your] risk for the disease.”

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t jump to conclusions and assume you have cervical cancer. Take a deep breath, call your doctor and stay calm. If you do end up having this type of cancer (or any other ailment), your doctor will walk you through the next steps you need to take.

Health & Lifestyle

Cote d’Ivoire: Destroying the Killer Rice

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Authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have destroyed 18,000 tonnes of rice declared to be unfit for human consumption.

This follows tests carried out by the country’s consumer association which had demanded the government to do so after the cargo from Myanmar had been refused entry in Togo, Guinea and Ghana over quality issues.

The national and international quality control tests revealed the unfit nature of the rice.

It should be noted that most African countries depend on imports because local farmers are unable to meet the ever rising demands.

Source: Africanews

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Health & Lifestyle

Mali: Donkeys deliver vaccines as diseases spike with violence

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Reuters DAKAR –

With spiraling ethnic violence exposing more children in Mali to fatal diseases, health workers are using donkeys and boats to deliver life-saving vaccines, charities said on Wednesday.

In the central Mopti region – where 157 people died in one attack last month – suspected measles cases rose five-fold in one year to 98 in 2018, U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said, due to a four-fold jump in unvaccinated children to 70,000.

Motorcycles, which health workers used to reach remote villages, have been banned to reduce militant activity, forcing them to use traditional means like horses, it said.

“The problem of vaccination is directly linked to the current conflict,” said Patrick Irenge, medical coordinator for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is using cars and boats as mobile clinics to reach cut off communities.

“If there is a lull in the violence, a small window that opens, we organize a vaccination campaign.”

Last month’s massacre was the deadliest to date in a conflict between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in the West African country since it escalated last year.

Pneumonia is one of the top killers of children in Mali and it can be prevented with vaccines – as can measles – but it is too dangerous for many parents to venture out with children.

“Transport is difficult because we don’t have the means to rent a vehicle or a horse cart,” said Aissata Barry, a 34-year-old mother in the village of Kankelena, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the nearest health center in the town of Sofara.

“There are rapists on the road. That’s what we’re afraid of,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone, adding that one of her neighbors was raped two weeks ago.

Mamadou Kasse, a local health worker who vaccinated Barry’s children, said the number of children he can reach each day has fallen since he swapped his motorbike for an eight-hour ride in a donkey cart with a cooler full of vaccines.

Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

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