Cervical Cancer Treatment
Cervical cancer can usually be detected early with annual Pap smears. It is thought to be triggered by a viral HPV infection. When caught and treated early, it is usually completely curable. When thinking about cervical cancer treatment from a naturopathic perspective, I like to make sure the following things are considered:
- Methylation: How is your body using methyl groups? Are you hyper or hypo methylated?
- Folate: How are your folate levels? Low folate has been linked to cervical cancer.
- Immune Function: Low white blood cells and natural killer cells have been linked to cervical cancer.
- How much selenium, zinc, and copper do you have in your blood? A high copper to zinc ratio and a low selenium level have been linked to cervical cancer.
- How is your serum glutathione? Low serum glutathione has been linked to cervical cancer.
- What are your insulin and insulin like growth factor (IGF) levels? IGF-1 has been linked to increased cervical cancer.
Some Natural Products to Consider with Cervical Cancer Treatment
- Apigenin – a plant flavonoid that inhibits growth, causes cervical cancer cell death (apoptosis).
- Bitter Melon – when used during radiation therapy for cervical cancer, bitter melon increased immune function and response and decreased cervical cancer cell growth.
- Cactus Pear – in cell studies, cactus pear decreased cervical cancer’s ability to grow new blood vessels, which limits growth.
- Lysine, Proline, Ascorbic Acid, and Green Tea – this combination when used in animal trials reduced the invasion (or growth) of cervical cancer cells.
- Coprinus Disseminatus and Leucopaxillus Giganteus (mushrooms) – increased the death of cervical cancer cell lines.
- EGCG – an extract from green tea that inhibits cervical cancer growth.
- Ginseng Root – the extracts from ginseng known as ginenosides decrease cervical cancer cell growth and activate pathways that cause cervical cancer cell death.
- Indole-3-Carbinol – can stop cervical cancer cell growth and cause cervical cancer cell death.
- Inula Cappa – causes cervical cancer cell death in cell culture studies.
- Mistletoe Injections – prolongs overall survival when used in conjunction with standard treatment, enhances mood, and reduces stress.
Diet and Cervical Cancer Treatment
- Luteolin – sensitizes TNF-alpha, and induces apoptosis. Leutolin is found in dried oregano, fresh thyme, celery seed, juniper berries, peppermint, and parsley.
- Lycopene – low dietary lycopene increases risk of invasive cervical cancer. Lycopene is found in tomatoes, especially tomato sauce and paste. Other sources of lycopene include strawberries, watermelon, and papayas.
- Vitamin A – low dietary vitamin A increases risk of invasive cervical cancer. Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and winter squash.
- Vitamin C – low dietary vitamin C increases risk of cervical cancer. Vitamin C-rich foods include oranges, red peppers, broccoli, strawberries, kale, Brussels sprouts, and guava.
Radiation is a common cervical cancer treatment. A natural therapy studied with cervical cancer radiation is curcumin. Studies have shown that curcumin radiosensitizes cervical cancer cell line, which means curcumin can make the cells more susceptible to radiation.
Pre-Malignancy and Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Many women are identified with irregularities in the cervical cells before it actually becomes cancer. This is known as CIN I, CIN II, or CIN III. These pre-cancerous cells can also be categorized as low grade, moderate grade, or high grade dysplasia. In pre-malignancy of cervical cells, the vitamin combination of folate, riboflavin, thiamin and B12 may be protective against malignancy.