Cervical Cancer Symptoms – Claire’s Story [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript

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Claire was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2009 but has since gone on to make a full recovery.

The symptom I experienced was an abnormal discharge. I was having a lot more than you normally get around your period, which I think is generally normal. But there seemed to be quite a lot of it, and that prompted me to think about going to the doctor. I didn't go right at the start of that. I went probably a few months after I'd noticed that it got worse. And then I had a bleed outside of my normal period, and that definitely made me think I really need to go to the doctor's.

At that point at the hospital, they then tried to do a smear test, and checked me over, but they couldn't. They found fibroids, so I don't know if that was related, really, to the abnormal bleed. I wasn't too sure. But they did an internal scan and found that the fibroids were there. At that point, I didn't have any cancer symptoms or anything. I was in for a day surgery, they took the fibroids out, and it was at that point that one of the doctors came around and said, "We've found a slight abnormality." They took a sample of it. It was the following week, after I'd been for that appointment, that they then told me that it was cancerous and they'd found a tumor.

The treatment that the doctors had prescribed was a course of chemotherapy. I had that overnight every 3 weeks. And then at Christmas in 2009 I had a radical hysterectomy. And then after I'd recovered from that, I had radiotherapy for 5 weeks. I'm doing really well at the moment, now. It was more a shock over the last couple of years, but now I'm kind of getting my head around everything that's happened. And yeah, doing much better.

There are a few symptoms you can look out for, such as bleeding during and after intercourse, bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause. Other symptoms might include pain during intercourse, an unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge, or pain in the lower back.

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