Many disorders can cause bad cramps in the lower abdomen or pelvic area, but what are the odds that your recent-onset cramping is being caused by cervical cancer?
Yes, cervical cancer can cause bad cramping, but where does this disease rank as far as likelihood that it’s causing your discomfort as opposed to a benign cause?
Cervical Cancer Can Cause Pelvic or Lower Abdominal Cramps
“Cervical cancer can cause cramping in the pelvis,” says Justin Chura, MD, medical director of gynecological oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia.
“This can occur as the tumor expands on the cervix and pushes on the bladder and the bowel.”
Advanced Cervical Cancer
“Advanced cervical cancer can cause bleeding and increase the risk of infection, which can, in turn, cause cramping,” says Mylaine Riobe, MD, founder of Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Riobe, who’s board certified in ob/gyn and integrative medicine, is the author of “The Answer to Cancer” and has over 15 years’ experience using integrative techniques to treat diverse patients.
Cramping, however, is a common symptom and it is not specific to cervical cancer.
In fact, a sensation of cramping in the abdominal or pelvic region is one of the most common symptoms that doctors see patients about. Causes are far-ranging and include strained muscles and irritable bowel syndrome.
“In other words, there are many more causes of cramping that are not cancer related,” says Dr. Chura. “This can include cramping from fibroids, endometriosis, infections and painful menstrual cycles.”
Inflammatory bowel disease is another possible cause, though the pelvic cramping will likely be accompanied by aches elsewhere in the body due to the “enteropathic arthropathy” of inflammatory bowel disease.
Have a Pap smear if you’re worried about cervical cancer. This disease is SO easy to detect in its earliest stages. The Pap smear can also detect precancerous changes in the cervix.