Causes of Cervical Cancer and Effective Treatments
The recent, high profile death of Jade Goody, a star of British reality TV, from cervical cancer, has increased public awareness of this deadly disease.
Cervical cancer takes the lives of approximately 253,500 women, worldwide, each year, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC). This threat has lead to a concerted research effort into the causes of cervical cancer, and effective treatments, during the last few years.
Researchers have found that a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV) triggers at least 70% of cervical cancers. Following this discovery, they have developed a vaccine that they claim protects girls, between the ages of 11 and 26, from two widespread strains of HPV.
In addition, while not actually considered causes of cervical cancer, there are factors which increase the risk of getting the disease. These risk factors include:
Long term use of birth control pills: Use of birth control pills for more than 4 years may increase the risk of cervical cancer among women with HPV infection.
No regular testing: Cervical cancer is more common among women who don’t have regular Pap tests.
HPV infection: An HPV infection that is not completely eliminated may cause cervical cancer in some women. Since these viruses are transmitted through sexual contact, the risk of getting HPV infection increases with the number of sexual partners.
Smoking: Smoking tobacco increases the risk of cervical cancer among women infected with HPV.
Weakened immune system: Infection with HIV, or the use of drugs that suppress the immune system, increases the risk of cervical cancer.
Knowing the causes of cervical cancer, and the risk factors, can help prevent women from getting the disease.
However, when a woman has been diagnosed with cervical cancer, she faces a very difficult decision. Which treatment is the most effective? Which treatment should she choose?
Cancer treatment is a very controversial subject, as soon as one ventures outside the sphere of mainstream medical authority into the field of alternative medicine. There are very good reasons for this heated controversy. In its simplest terms, the conflict is between freedom of information and self interest (profit).
Healthcare is a trillion dollar a year industry in the US alone. Cancer treatment accounted for an estimated revenue of $72.1 billion, in 2004, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is naive to hope that such a profitable industry will put the interests of the public ahead of its own self interest.
In fact, according to a recent “60 Minutes” documentary, there are twice as many lobbyists working on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry as there are Congressmen. They are paid to solicit the support of law makers for legislation that protects the interests of the drug manufacturers, and to discredit alternative cancer treatments, in the media.
Alternative treatments and demonstrated cures for cancer have been extensively documented during the past hundred of years. Unfortunately, much of this information has been suppressed, or deliberately discredited, because it poses a threat to those interests that profit from patented treatments.
While it is outside of the scope of this article to discuss specific alternative cancer treatments, here are some general guidelines that will help you discover valid information for your own personal education and research.
First, you must be willing to become your own authority. It is your health, and your life, after all, and you are entitled to make the final decision concerning the treatment you receive.The more information that you have access to, the better your position to make a truly informed choice.
Second, you must be willing to look beyond conventional, mainstream sources, if you truly intend to find the information that is being suppressed.
Third, you must allow the criteria for your choices to include anecdotal evidence because there will never be FDA approved, double blind studies in support of any treatment that cannot be patented, or administered, at substantial profit.
The rote answer to discredit effective alternative treatments of all kinds is, “There is no clinical evidence that proves it works.” While this is true, it is also misleading. It does not mean that the treatment does not work. There is no clinical evidence because there has been no clinical testing, and there never will be, because most alternatives cannot be patented. Thus, there is no incentive to pay for clinical tests.
Anecdotal, first person accounts of successful, alternative cancer treatments can offer new choices and directions for you to explore. Substantiated research from more liberal countries can often support these testimonials, and assist in making informed decisions that can lead to successful healing, even of cancer.