Mercy Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Teresa Diaz-montes Offers Insights Into Cervical Cancer Symptoms

March 3, 2017
Gynecology Oncology at Mercy Baltimore

Teresa P. Diaz-Montes, M.D., MPH, FACOG, serves as the Associate Director of The Lya Segall Ovarian Cancer Institute. She also is a noted expert and gynecologic oncologist with The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy, a leading Center in Baltimore for the treatment of cancers of the female reproductive tract. Recently, Dr. Diaz-Montes responded to a news query regarding “sneaky symptoms” of cervical cancer. Here are her responses…

In general, why do some signs of cervical cancer so commonly go unnoticed?

Some signs of cervical cancer can be confused with menstrual problems.  Cervical cancer usually affects women still having menstrual periods so it can be easily confused.  Some of those signs could be abnormal bleeding, postcoital bleeding, vaginal discharge.  Other signs could be confused with other medical conditions like back pain, leg swelling.  

What are a few sneaky signs of cervical cancer that everyone should know?

Postcoital bleeding or bleeding after having sex: Cancer bleeds very easily upon touch, so any heavy bleeding experienced after sex that is persistent should be evaluated.

Foul smelling discharge: when cervical cancer is far advanced, women can experience a distinctive odor that does not goes away easily.  This should be evaluated immediately.

Leg swelling: swelling of the legs could be a sign of several medical conditions, but when combined with vaginal bleeding, foul smelling discharge and pelvic pain, could be a sign of advanced cervical cancer.  This merits immediate evaluation.

--Teresa P. Diaz-Montes, M.D., MPH, FACOG

Board Certified in Gynecologic Oncology, Dr. Teresa Diaz-Montes provides diagnosis and treatment for gynecologic cancers including ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer. Her primary clinical interests include ovarian cancer treatments, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, including robotic surgery, and patient safety and quality. Additional areas of interest include cervical cancer, fallopian tube cancer, fertility-sparing surgery and uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

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About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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