Cervical Health Awareness

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect a woman’s reproductive organs. It is a cancer that forms in the tissues of the cervix, a usually slow growing cancer. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cases of cervical cancer.

Cancer usually begins when healthy cells acquire a genetic mutation that turns normal cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Cancer cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don’t die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from an initial tumor to spread elsewhere in the body called metastasis.

There are 2 types of cervical cancers:

  1. Squamous cell carcinomas – occurs in 80-90% of cervical cancers.
  2. Adenocarcinomas – occurs in 10-20% of cervical cancers.

Sometimes both types of cells are involved in cervical cancer.

The causes of squamous cells or glandular cells to become abnormal and develop into cancer aren’t clear. However, it’s certain that the sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a role. Evidence of HPV is found in nearly all cervical cancers. However, HPV is a very common virus and most women with HPV never develop cervical cancer.

Symptoms:

Usually early cervical cancers don’t have any symptoms. As the cancer grows larger, women may notice one or more of these symptoms.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Increased vaginal discharge with pelvic pain

If you start to experience cervical cancer symptoms, you need to contact your health care provider.

Incidence and Diagnosis:

Estimated new cases anddeaths from cervical (uterine cervix) cancer in the United States in 2009:
New cases: 11,270

Deaths: 4,070

Treatments:

Once a diagnosis is made, cervical cancer is treated though three methods: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Vitamins/Herbs modalities for treatment:

The following tips may help to reduce your chances of getting dysplasia (pre cancerous cells)

  • Eat calcium rich foods, including beans, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale).  Also supplementing your diet with calcium supplements may prove beneficial.
  • Eat cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, they have broad antibiotic properties
  • Eat antioxidant rich foods and vegetables.  Introduce Green’s and red powders such as Green Vibrance, Berry Green and Blue Green algae, which are concentrated and nutrient dense forms and provide you with countless health benefits.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 – 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil daily, to help decrease inflammation and improve general health.
  • A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, D, E, the B-vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Folic acid is important in preventing cervical dysplasia and should be part of a multivitamin supplement.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 3,000 mg twice a day, to help decrease inflammation.
  • Coenzyme Q10, 100 – 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant and immune activity.
  • Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) standardized extract, 20 mg three times a day, for inflammation, immune and antibacterial/antifungal activity.
  •  Turmeric (Curcuma longa) standardized extract, 300 mg three times a day, for inflammation.
  • Green tea (Camelia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 – 500 mg daily, for antioxidant and immune effects.

Educating yourself against any disease is crucial to an early diagnosis and receiving timely treatment leading to fewer complications and a better prognosis.  The following resources will help you stay informed of the latest developments in cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment.

www.cancer.org

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