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What Causes Cervical Cancer and How to Prevent it Naturally

What Causes Cervical Cancer and How to Prevent it Naturally

2014 - 02 - 01

How do you get cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Cancers caused by HPV include cancer of the anus, cervix, vagina, vulva, and throat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America. The majority of people who are sexually active have had contact with HPV viruses.

If you have read my previous posts on the HPV vaccine, you know it is risky. A review of vaccine clinical trials (Current Pharmaceutical Design, September 2012) concluded that “reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles.”

PAP tests are more effective than vaccines.

HPV expert researcher Dr. Diane Harper, who coordinated clinical trials of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, stated that PAP smears alone prevent more cancer than vaccines (Huffington Post, December 28, 2009).

If you think you might have symptoms of cervical cancer, get a PAP test.  PAP screenings have reduced cervical cancer rates by 70 percent in the U.S. since becoming a routine part of women’s health care. If girls and women get regular cervical cancer screening, they can greatly reduce their chances of cervical cancer.

Here’s why: It is only when chronic HPV virus lingers for many years that abnormal cervical cells could turn into cancer.  PAP smears pick up cervical changes early when there's still sufficient time to treat any cervical abnormalities.  Regular PAP screening tests can promptly identify pre-cancer signs and lead to life-saving treatment.

You can prevent cervical cancer through lifestyle choices.

According to the US National Cancer Institute, each year about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 4000 women die of the disease. Yet, since cervical cancer is caused by an infection acquired through sexual contact, it is virtually 100 percent preventable through behavioral and lifestyle choices.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the use of condoms reduces the incidence of HPV by 70 percent, offering far better protection than the HPV vaccine and avoiding HPV vaccine side effects.

You can also choose to avoid other high-risk factors for chronic HPV infection that are associated with development of cervical cancer like  smoking, exposure to HIV and Chlamydia, and long-term use of oral contraceptives.

Does HPV go away?

Yes, HPV infection usually goes away on its own. More than six million women contract HPV infection annually, yet more than 90 percent of these women clear the infection from their bodies automatically, according to the Centers for Disease Control:  "In 90 percent of cases, your body's immune system clears the HPV infection naturally within two years,"at which point cervical cells go back to normal. If you are healthy, your immune system is usually strong enough to naturally clear HPV infection on its own.

How to keep your immune system strong

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.Mercola.com), proper diet, daily exercise, good hygiene, sufficient rest, and hand-washing are excellent ways to keep your immune system strong. He also advocates getting plenty of the most natural health-booster of all, sunshine. When you can't be out in the sun, supplement with Vitamin D3.

HPV cervical cancer is reversible

Women’s cancer specialist Dr. Maria Bell found that nutrients in cruciferous vegetables can reverse cervical cancer. That group includes cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.  Bell’s research showed that HPV cervical cancer could be reversed with indole-3-carbinol(I3C), a natural substance found in cruciferous vegetables. In a placebo-controlled study of 30 women with stage 2 or 3 cervical cancer, those who took I3C had complete regression of their disease in only 12 weeks.  There was no improvement in the control group.  Other research has shown a similar effect by supplementation with DIM, a digestive by-product of eating cruciferous vegetables. So eat your broccoli!

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References:

[1] Chen DZ, Qi M, Aubom K et al. Indole-3-Carbinol and Diindolylmethane Induce Apoptosis of Human Cervical Cancer Cells and in Murine HPV16-Transgenic Preneoplastic Cervical Epithelium.J. Nutr. December 1, 2001 vol. 131 no. 12 3294-3302

[2] Medpage.com March 28, 2012

[3] Huffington Post, December 28, 2009

[4] Tomljenovic L, Spinosa JP, Shaw CA Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines as an option for preventing cervical malignancies: (how) effective and safe? Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(8):1466-87.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23016780

[5] National Cancer Institute SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Cervix Uteri http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/cervix.html

[6] Genital HPV Infection - Fact Sheet http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm

[7] Winer R, Hughes J, et al. Condom Use and the Risk of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection in Young Women. N Engl J Med 2006; 354:2645-2654June 22, 2006 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa053284

[8] Wright J. Preventing and curing cancer of the cervix. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, July 2000.

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