The strange smell that could be a sign of cancer and the 12 other symptoms you must know | The Sun
STRANGE smells can be annoying.
But one expert has now revealed that a particular whiff down below could be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer.
The vagina has a natural bacteria that is there to keep good balance, and it's because of this that it always has a slight smell.
Speaking to Sun Health, Dr Bryony Henderson at Livi said as long as the smell is normal for you and you are well – then there's nothing to worry about.
However, she said that in rare cases this could be down to illness.
"Very rarely, foul-smelling discharge can be a symptom of cervical or uterine cancer.
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"Discharge and vaginal odour are unlikely to be the only or first symptoms, though.
"You might have experienced bleeding during intercourse, or perhaps occasional spotting that becomes more regular. The smell will be a little metallic," the expert said.
There are around 850 cervical cancer deaths in the UK each year, around two each day, Cancer Research UK states.
It's the 19th most common cancer in the country, with around 3,200 women being diagnosed each year.
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The NHS states that the main symptoms of the illness include:
- vaginal bleeding that's unusual for you -this includes bleeding during or after sex, bleeding between periods or after the menopause and having heavier periods than usual
- changes to your vaginal discharge
- pain during sex
- pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis), or in your lower tummy
However it's important to note that these symptoms can also be a sign of conditions like fibroids or endometriosis.
You might be used to them, but if they get worse or change, then it's important to speak to your GP.
Dr Henderson also said that a strange smell down below could also be a sign of uterine cancer, also known as womb or uterus cancer.
Each year there are around 9,703 cases of the illness, equating to around 27 cases each day.
The NHS states that the symptoms of the illness can be similar to that of cervical cancer.
The main symptoms are:
- bleeding or spotting from the vagina after the menopause
- heavy periods from your vagina that is unusual for you
- vaginal bleeding between your periods
- a change to your vaginal discharge – and you might also experience
- a lump or swelling in your tummy or between your hip bones (pelvis)
- pain in your lower back or between your hip bones (pelvis)
- pain during sex
- blood in your pee
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You should see your GP if you have any of the symptoms above.
Having them doesn't mean you have cancer, but it's important to get them checked out.
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