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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.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Tanzania: officials summons WHO over Ebola claims

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Tanzania’s government has summoned the World Health Organisation’s local representative over claims that they’re concealing information on Ebola virus infections in the country.

On Saturday, WHO said in a statement that it had learned of one suspected fatal case in the main city, Dar es Salaam, and two other infections but, despite repeated requests, was given no information.

Last week, Tanzania said it had no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola.

Government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said on Twitter that the ministry of foreign affairs had summoned the WHO’s Tigest Ketsela Mengestu to obtain “in-depth details from the agency on reports circulating in the media”.

A short video clip has also been posted on the ministry’s Twitter account, showing Dr Tigest clarifying at a meeting with Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Damas Ndumbaro that the WHO did not say there was Ebola in Tanzania:

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WHO rejects claims to issue a statement on existence of Ebola in Tanzania.

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More than 2,100 people have died during the current Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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WHO accused Tanzania of hiding information on Ebola victims

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Ebola virus has cause major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in Africa.

The number of cases has began to decline gradually, following the commitment of substantial international resources.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rebuked Tanzania for failing to provide information about possible Ebola virus infections.

The WHO said it had learned of one suspected fatal case in Dar es Salaam and two others but, despite repeated requests, was given no information

Tanzania has said it has no suspected or confirmed cases.

The latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000 in eastern DR Congo, with Uganda battling to stop any spread.

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