Cancer: The sign in your lower back that could be a ‘red flag’ symptom – ‘Watch out’

Lisa Maffia discusses her 'cervical cancer' diagnosis

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“Cervical cancer is found anywhere in the cervix which is the opening between the vagina and the womb,” said Kate Goodman, Senior Litigation Executive at Patient Claim Line. “Most cervical cancers are caused by an infection from certain types of HPV.”

The expert listed the “red-flag” signs including a symptom that crops up in your lower back.

Mrs Goodman said that people at risk need to “watch out for” pain in this area.

Jo’s cervical cancer trust describes this as an unexplained pain in your lower back and adds it can also occur between your hip bones (pelvis).

However, this isn’t the only sign of this cancer type. Mrs Goodman added: “You should seek an appointment with your GP if you’re experiencing any changes to vaginal discharge, bleeding or pain during or after sex, and lower back and/or lower abdominal pain.

“If you notice any unusual vaginal bleeding such as bleeding between periods, after the menopause, or heavier periods than normal, this can be a sign of cervical cancer.”

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Vaginal bleeding that’s unusual for you (or having heavier periods than usual)
  • Changes to your vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain in your lower back, between your hip bones, or in your lower tummy.

The health service recommends seeing a GP if you suffer from any of these signs.

Mrs Goodman said: “It is important to remember that just because you have a symptom that could be cervical cancer, this does not mean that you will have it. 

“Many other common conditions have these symptoms but it is important that you still get checked; do not wait until your routine smear test.”

In England and Northern Ireland, people with cervixes aged between 25 and 50 are invited for a smear test every three years.

Those over 50 are invited every five years until they turn 64.

She said: “The smear test now tests for the HPV virus instead of testing for abnormal cells in the cervix. 

“Studies have shown that HPV is often the cause of cervical cancer, so the presence of HPV can help predict whether a person may be at risk of developing cervical cancer.”

“If a person is found to have HPV, the sample is checked for signs of abnormal cells that may indicate cervical cancer or pre-cancerous cells.

“The results of this test may result in you having further tests at the hospital, or they may find that you do not need further tests and treatment at this time.

“For women who test negative for HPV, there is no need for further testing and you can await your next smear test.”

Fortunately, the NHS notes that cervical cancer is often treatable. Your exact treatment will depend on the size, the location, general health and your individual case.

The options can include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted medicines and other options.

The expert added: “If you or someone you love has experienced a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis or a doctor has missed the symptoms of cervical cancer, then Patient Claim Line can help. 

“Speak to a member of our friendly legal team for free on 0330 107 5311 or visit our cervical cancer page here.”

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