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Alternatives For Healing

Cervical Cancer

by Susun Weed

“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.[1]

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.”[2]

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.[3] About 10% of women have a fast-growing type - whose incidence may be increasing - which becomes invasive within a year.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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. [7], [8], [9]

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.[10]

Some procedures sound like diagnostic tests. A cone biopsy, despite its name, is real surgery. See Step 6 of the Six Steps of Healing.

“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).”[11]

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.[12],[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19],[20]

High doses of vitamin C won’t help either; and may harm.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23] Though many DES-daughters are diagnosed when young, the is no age at which the danger disappears.[24]

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.[25]

The rates of cervical cancer are four times less among women whose partners have had a vasectomy.[26] 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.[27] 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.

Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at www.susunweed.com

[1] JAMA, Feb. 1989, cited in “Ovarian Cysts,” HealthFacts, XVI (146), July 1991

[2] “Amount of virus sets cancer risk,” L Seachrist, Science News, Vol 148, September 23, 1995

[3] “One Way to Avoid Unnecessary Testing After Ambiguous Pap Results,” HealthFacts, May 2001

[4] “Screening for Cervical Cancer,” HealthFacts, XV (136), Sept 1990

[5] “Special Report: Gynecologic Cancers,” Weill Medical College Women’s Health Advisor, June 2006

[6] “Differences in cervical cancer mortality among black and white women,” EA Howell, Obstet Gynecol, 94(509-15), Oct 1999

[7] “Does His Circumcision Lower Her Risk for Cervical Cancer?,” Andrew Kaunitz MD, Journal Watch, 7(6):41

[8] “Screening for Cervical Cancer,” HealthFacts, Sept 1990

[9] Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, M. Murray ND & J. Pizzorno ND, Prima Publishing, 1991

[10] “Co-conspirator? Genital herpes linked to cervical cancer,” N. Sepa, Science News, 162:292-3, November 9, 2002

[11] Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Christiane Northrup MD, Bantam, 1991

[12] “Personality patterns in patients with malignant tumors of the breast and cervix," Tarlau & Smalheiser, Psychosomatic Medicine, vol 13(117), 1951

[13] “Psychological setting of uterine cervical cancer,” LG Koss, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol 125(807-13), 1966

[14] Encycl. of Natural Medicine, Murray & Pizzorno, Prima, 1991; also, study by CE Butterworth, MD at U of Alabama Med School

[15] Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, Steven Foster and Rebecca Johnson, National Geographic, 2006

[16] Ibid

[17] “Nutrients and Cervical Cancer Prevention,” C Massion MD, Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health, 2(8):57-60, Aug 2000

[18] “Physician’s Perspective: Alternative Cancer Therapies Can Be Dangerous,” Carolyn Runowicz MD, Health News (NEJM), Feb 2003

[19] “The effect of beta-carotene and the regression and progression of cervical dysplasia,” J’rnal of Clinical Epidemiology, 44(273-283), 1991

[20] “Effects of beta carotene and other factors on the outcome of cervical dysplasia,” Gynecology Oncology, 65(483-492), 1997

[21] Randomized double-blind trial of beta carotene and vitamin C in women with minor cervical abnormalities,” British Journal of Cancer, 79(1448-1453), 1999

[22] “DES - Forgotten by many but still an important women’s health issue,” Ann Mulligan, The Network News, Nov /Dec 1998

[23] “DES: New Concerns,” Susan Ince, Women’s Health and Fitness News, Dec 1988

[24] Ibid note 24

[25] Herbal Medicine, Healing & Cancer, Donald Yance Jr., Keats, 1999

[26] The Complete Woman’s Herbal, Anne McIntyre, Henry Holt, 1994

[27] “Douching: New Dangers Identified,” Cynthia Pearson, The Network News, March 1991; study in Am. J. of Epid, Feb 15, 1991

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