When abnormal cells are found on the cervix the condition is called dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia is considered to be a pre-cancerous condition, can occur at any age from puberty onward, and is usually found in women between the ages of 25 and 35.
Lifestyle and nutritional factors that appear to play a prominent role in the etiology of cervical dysplasia and carcinoma include: early age of first intercourse; multiple sexual partners; Herpes simplex type 2 and papilloma viruses (HPV); lower socio-economic class; smoking; oral contraceptive use; and many nutritional factors. All risk factors appear to be closely related, as in other multifactorial diseases.
A class III Pap should be biopsied if there is a history of recurrent abnormal Pap smears, if significant risk factors are present, or if the patient has been unresponsive to therapy. If the patient has a class IV Pap, proper treatment of cervical dysplasia involves first ascertaining if carcinoma in situ is present. This can only be determined through biopsy. Patients with carcinoma in situ, or a class V Pap, should undergo conization.
The basic approach is to eliminate all factors known to be associated with cervical dysplasia and to optimize the patient's nutritional status. In particular, eliminate smoking and oral contraceptive use and supplement with nutrients mentioned below. For those patients who undergo conization, treatment is still necessary since the causes of cervical dysplasia are not treated by this approach. Pap smears should be repeated every one to three months, according to severity.
Animal product consumption should be decreased, particularly animal fats and exogenous estrogens. High-fiber foods should be encouraged.
Women who smoke may be 50% more likely than nonsmokers to develop cervical cancer or precancerous lesions.
The vaginal depletion pack (or vag pack) has a long history of effective use by naturopathic physicians in the treatment of cervical dysplasia. It is thought to work by promoting the sloughing of the superficial cervical cells, particularly those that are abnormal. It is effective in most cases of minor cervical dysplasia. These packs are available in vaginal suppository form and should be used weekly, or as directed by your doctor, until the Pap normalizes. For most patients, the vaginal depletion pack will accelerate the rate of normalization of the cervix.
MGN-3 in stage II and stage III patients completely resolved the problem. After six months of MGN-3 use, with no other form of treatment, all follow-up exams and tests were normal.
Vitamin A at 75,000 IU per day for 2 months or until Pap smear results improve, then 25,000 IU per day as a maintenance dose. The preferred form is water-soluble vitamin A. However, doses of vitamin A over 10,000 IU/day should not be considered if pregnancy is a possibility. Vitamin A injections into the cervix have been used successfully when other methods have failed.
Folic Acid in high doses of 10 to 50mg per day have been used successfully to return Pap smears to normal. Folic acid supplementation has resulted in improvement or normalization of cytological smears in patients with cervical dysplasia in placebo-controlled and clinical studies. As folic acid is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world, and quite common in women who are pregnant or taking oral contraceptives, it is probable that many abnormal cytological smears reflect folate deficiency rather than "true" dysplasia. This is particularly applicable to cases in which patients are taking oral contraceptives.
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