Cervical Cancer – Wise Woman Approaches
“How many ways of being are there, sweet friend?” asks Grandmother Growth in her warm way. You sense this is a serious question, and you fear you don’t know the right answer.
“Between the yin and the yang, between the dark and the light, between normal and abnormal, there are infinite shades and numberless ways of being. Without lines, they arise and change, drift away or settle in, some promoting your well-being, some eroding it. An erosive change is almost upon us daughter. How will we meet it?
“Cells are changing in your cervix. They are going fast, faster, growing fast, faster, too fast to be tidy, too fast to be symmetrical, too fast to be orderly. How do we dance to this rhythm? Does it tear you loose from your moorings? Does it set you adrift? Is it freedom?
“Cells are changing too fast for the guardians to cope; they are overwhelmed. Where shall you find more help dearest granddaughter? Who will you invoke to aid you? Can the guardians prevail and change the rhythm if they are given reinforcements? Or must you kill the guardians along with the cancer to stop the beat and still the music?
“Your story is unique my precious child. Your choices will arise from the well of your own deep inner wisdom. Trust yourself. Trust me. I’ll hold you hand as we dance, I’ll follow or lead, fast or slow, as you will. Let’s go!”
Do you actually have cervical cancer, or one of its precursors? This is an important distinction. Current practice tends to over-treat women with abnormal cells, dysplasia, hyperplasia, and in situ carcinomas. In nine out of ten cases, if carcinoma in situ of the cervix is left untreated, it will never progress to cervical cancer.
“Physicians could confidently monitor patients for [amount and types of HPV] virus with currently available tests for several months before deciding to treat… more aggressively.”
Cervical cancer in situ is generally very slow-growing; untreated, half will regress and half will, over a period of 10-30 years progress to invasive cancer. About 10% of women have a fast-growing type – whose incidence may be increasing – which becomes invasive within a year. Cervical cancer is most common in women 40-60 years of age, but it occurs frequently in women under 35 years old.
In the USA, about five million Pap smears yearly reveal dysplasia; of those, 45,000 will be new cases of cervical carcinoma in situ and 10,000 will be invasive cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills more than 4,000 American women each year.
Black women in America are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer and almost three times as likely to die of it as white women. They are older at the time of diagnosis and their disease is further advanced, but they are less likely to receive aggressive treatments.
Cervical cancer, it is now known, is caused by infection with certain strains of HPV. A healthy immune system can prevent this; a weak one can’t. That’s why cervical cancer is strongly related to lack of good sanitary facilities, lack of vitamin C in the diet (less than 30mg a day increases risk seven-fold), lack of carotenes in the diet (under 5000 IU daily triples risk), smoking tobacco (triples risk), first intercourse before the age of 18 (triples risk; the cervix is immature and more easily damaged and infected), long-term use of oral contraceptives (over 8 years quadruples risk), multiple sexual partners (more than 5 quadruples risk), and a monogamous relationship with a man who is uncircumsized and who has had more than 25 partners.
Is cervical cancer connected to inflammation? Women whose cervical tissues are infected with HPV and also inflamed – by herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, [spermicides, and violent penetration] – are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer as women who have HPV but no inflammatory events.
Some procedures sound like diagnostic tests. A cone biopsy, despite its name, is real surgery.
“Feelings of being used or raped are associated with chronic vaginitis, chronic vulvar pain, recurrent wart, herpes, cervical cancer, and associated abnormal Pap smears (cervical dysplasia).”
Take back your power! Claim your cervix and your genitals as your own. Possess your cervix. Accept it; love it; cherish it. When we reject a part of ourselves, we can find ourselves “losing” that part to surgery.
Compared to women with other types of cancer, women with cervical cancer are more likely to be sexually unhappy. They may dislike intercourse, but feel that they must do it, and are often non-orgasmic in the presence of a man. They are more likely to be divorced, separated, deserted, or “stuck” in a relationship with a man who is unfaithful, undependable, or alcoholic.
Women with cervical cancer have been found to be low or deficient in a number of nutrients, including vitamins A, B6 (pyridoxine), C, folate (folic acid), and selenium. Increasing your consumption of orange and green vegetables, whole grains, sauerkraut, selenium-rich foods – like garlic, seaweeds, and mushrooms – and pyridoxine-rich foods – like lentils, broccoli, and potatoes won’t “cure” cancer. High-quality nutrition does, however, provide the basis for normal healthy cells to replace the cancerous ones, and primes the immune system to eliminate aberrant cells.
Extract of common privet berry (ligustrum vulgare, L. lucidum) has been shown to inhibit cervical cancers in mice. Even if it doesn’t directly eliminate cervical cancer, privet is happy to help reduce inflammation, enhance white blood cells, and nourish the immune system.
Milk thistle seed tincture is a fantastic complementary medicine for anyone choosing chemotherapy. And this large, striking plant may be anticancer, too. Two alkaloids, silymarin and silibinin, reduce the growth of cervical, breast, and prostate cancer cells.
Castor oil is Edgar Cayce’s classic cancer treatment. In the case of cervical cancer, Cayce recommended daily castor oil packs over the uterine area, as well as five drops of castor oil orally at bedtime. In severe cases, he added Atomidine and Glyco-Thymol to the regime.
Low levels of folic acid are associated with the development of cervical cancer, perhaps because folate is needed for DNA repair. But no study has shown that supplements, even in very high doses, can reverse it.
Likewise, low levels of carotenoids in the diet and blood increase the risk of invasive cervical cancer, but supplements are not a cure, and may even prolong the presence of precancerous cells, helping them mature into cancers. Studies have repeatedly found that beta-carotene supplements “decrease spontaneous healing.” Women with CIN II who took beta-carotene were more than twice as likely to progress as the controls were.
High doses of vitamin C won’t help either; and may harm.
Smoking tobacco causes a tumor suppresser gene to lose its ability to kill cancer cells according to UCLA cervical-cancer researcher Dr. Christine Holschneider. Perhaps that’s why women who smoke are more likely to get cervical cancer and more likely to die of it, too. Isn’t it time to switch to an herbal smoke? Make your own with coltsfoot, mullein, mint, and a touch of tobacco.
From the 1938 until 1971, more than six million unborn children in the USA were exposed to the potent estrogen-like hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES or desPLEX) when it was prescribed to their mothers in the mistaken belief that it could prevent miscarriage and create bigger, stronger babies. Although studies from 1954 on found the opposite to be true – women who took DES were more likely to miscarry – this dangerous drug continued to be given to pregnant women for 15 more years.
DES daughters and sons have malformed reproductive systems, malfunctioning immune systems, and a heightened sensitivity to carcinogens. DES-daughters and granddaughters are especially likely to be diagnosed with fast-growing clear cell adenocarcinoma or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of the cervix or vagina. Though many DES-daughters are diagnosed when young, the is no age at which the danger disappears.
The DES daughters and granddaughters that I know have remained cancer-free by attention to healthy living and regular use of red clover blossom infusion (1-3 quarts a week) and burdock root tincture (a dropperful a day, more when stressed).
“…certain cancers, such as early-stage breast, cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and low grade lymphomas, respond very well to herbal treatments, yet seem to be aggravated and sometimes worsened by surgical procedures or other conventional treatments.”
The rates of cervical cancer are four times less among women whose partners have had a vasectomy. Of course, once you already have cervical cancer, this intervention is too late.
Women who douche four or more times a month are nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Isn’t douching a way to cleanse the vagina? Absolutely not. The vagina harbors beneficial organisms (mostly bacteria) that prevent infection and may forestall cancer; douching washes them away, leaving the cervix and vagina vulnerable.
A cone biopsy is real surgery, not just a biopsy. It was originally conceived of as a uterus-sparing procedure for women with cervical cancer who, usually from a desire to have children, were reluctant to undergo hysterectomy. A cone biopsy requires anesthesia and is designed not just to sample cells to test for cancer, as a biopsy would, but to remove all possible cancerous tissues from the cervix along with a clean margin of unaffected tissue.
Over-treatment of cervical carcinoma in situ is common. Except in the rare case of fast-growing microinvasive cancer, it is considered safe to explore alternative treatments for 3-12 months before consenting to surgery. A high percentage of in situ cervical cancers can be reversed.
Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.