The 'silent' cancer symptom you can spot in your back – and 3 signs you must know | The Sun

MANY people suffer with back pain and most of the time it's caused by the way we sit or by straining ourselves during exercise.

But lower back pain can also be a silent sign of cervical cancer, the NHS warns.

This week is cervical cancer prevention week, and knowing the signs could help spot the killer early.

There are around 850 cervical cancer deaths in the UK each year, equating to more than two every day, Cancer Research UK states.

In the US, around 4,310 women die from the disease each year with over 13,000 cases being diagnosed, the American Cancer Society states.

Guidance from the NHS states that one of the key signs of the illness is pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis), or in your lower tummy.

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The three other symptoms of the illness are:

  1. vaginal bleeding that's unusual for you – including bleeding during or after sex, between your periods or after the menopause, or having heavier periods than usual
  2. changes to your vaginal discharge
  3. pain during sex

It's important to note that if you have other conditions like fibroids and endometriosis, then you may get symptoms like these on a regular basis.

Many people get used to this, but if your symptoms change, then it's key that you get them checked out by a GP.

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One of the best ways to protect against cervical cancer is to get a regular smear test.

They are free and your first invitation will be sent to you when you are over 24 and a half.

People aged 25 to 49 receive invitations every three years, meanwhile people aged 50 to 64 receive invitations every five years.

Dr Radhika Vohra, GP at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital explained what the test looks for.

"A cervical smear test checks whether your cervix is infected with HPV (human papillomavirus).

"This is to screen for changes early. If HPV is detected, the cells collected during your test will be examined under a microscope to check for any unusual changes in their appearance.

"If abnormal changes are detected, further investigation will be recommended as you may need treatment to remove these cells."

It's important to not put off cervical screening and you can book an appointment with your GP.

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If you are concerned about any of your symptoms then you should speak to your GP.

In the event of an emergency always call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.

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