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Cervical Dysplasia

What is it?

Cervical dysplasia is a Pap smear with abnormal growth of the epithelial cells of the cervix. It is graded from CIN I-III and 90% of cervical dysplasias do not progress to cancer. If left undiagnosed and untreated, then it can progress to cervical cancer graded from stage 0-4. 

Diagnosis

Cervical cancer is a largely preventable and curable disease as it slowly progresses through recognisable stages. There are no signs or symptoms of cervical dysplasia and no visible cervical changes. Therefore, regular Pap smears every 2 years until 70 years of age is essential for all women who have been sexually active at any stage in their lives. I recommend ThinPrep Pap smears for women who have had any history of an abnormal Pap smear with testing for HPV.

Cause

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is now recognised as the most important causative agent in cervical cancer. It is the most commonly acquired sexually transmitted infection in young, sexually active women spread via any skin contact through vaginal, anal and oral sex, with condoms providing only limited protection. There are over 100 genotypes of HPV but not all of them cause cancerous cell changes. HPV types 6 and 11 commonly cause benign lesions such as genital warts which do not turn into cancer, while types 16 and 18 are most commonly found in cervical dysplasia. In 90% of cases, the immune system naturally clears the HPV infection within 2 years, although it is unclear whether the virus becomes dormant, only to reactivate again when the immune system becomes compromised.

Risk Factors

  • Compromised Immune System A healthy immune function is necessary to clear HPV infection, prevent recurrence and reduce inflammatory changes within the cells. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with cervical dysplasia and cancer and is essential for proper immune function.
  • Smoking is an independent risk factor for cervical cancer
  • Oral Contraceptive Pill Long term use of the Pill increases risk of cervical cancer. This may be due to the high synthetic oestrogen levels or reduced nutrient absorption especially B vitamins. Discontinued use 10 years or more returns risk to women who have never used it. Women taking the Pill should take a good quality multivitamin.
  • Sexual Activity and STIs First intercourse at an early age and sexual promiscuity is associated with increased cervical dysplasia. Infection with other STIs such as Chlamydia, Herpes and HIV play a role as well. Make sure you get checked by your doctor.
  • Increased Oestrogens HPV together with increased levels of 16a-hydroxyestrone increases risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer. Balancing oestrogen and progesterone levels as well as clearing excess oestrogens via the liver and bowel is essential.
  • Diet High intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risk because they contain protective vitamins and minerals.
  • Malnutrition Folate deficiency increases risk of persistent HPV infection and cervical cancer. Selenium has been shown to induce cell death in cervical cancer cells in vitro. Studies have found low selenium and zinc levels with high copper levels in both cervical dysplasia and cancer patients. This is particularly important in Australia and New Zealand as we have very low Selenium levels in our soil.

Orthodox Medical Treatments

HPV Vaccine

Australia is the first country in the world to administer the HPV immunization initiative. Gardasil is a genetically engineered vaccine given free to all girls aged 12-17 years and as announced recently, to boys aged 12-13 years from 2013 in Australia. Gardasil has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of CIN II precursor lesions but, as has been raised by many doctors, it is unlikely to reduce the level of cancer. It is well known that a healthy immune system naturally clears any HPV infection within 2 years anyway and Pap smears are still necessary every two years, despite vaccination. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports "It is important to emphasise that the vaccine is supported by limited efficacy and safety data". The Health Minister, Tanya Pilbersek has stated that all vaccines in Australia undergo stringent testing by experts. Unfortunately, according to our own TGA (the Therapeutic Goods Administration), vaccines are not tested in Australia for either safety or effectiveness. Gardasil's pre-licensure tests were performed overseas and were funded by the manufacturer of the drug. During this testing, 17 deaths were reported and a very large number of reactions (more than 90% of those tested reported at least one systemic reaction). Despite this, the vaccine is registered for use in Australia. 

On 12 January 2012 the Annals of Medicine published a ground-breaking peer-reviewed paper written by renowned researchers Tomljenovic, PhD, and Shaw, PhD from University of British Columbia, Canada, citing that the HPV vaccine is neither justified by long-term health benefits (what, if any, is yet to be proven), economically viable, nor is there any evidence (even if it is proven effective against cervical cancer) that it will reduce the level of cervical cancer beyond what Pap screening has already achieved.

Long term effects of the vaccine are unknown but ADRAC (Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee) reports 681 serious adverse reactions to the vaccine as detailed by The Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph (06/07/2008) including fever, hyperventilation, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, tinnitus, tremors, tingling, paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, blood clotting, chronic fatigue syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, seizures, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and deaths.

Four Melbourne school girls were rushed to hospital after receiving the vaccine in 2007. India halted trials of the vaccine in 2008 due to a number of deaths of the women involved. The European Medicines Agency reports 16 deaths of women after being given the vaccine in Austria and Germany. In the USA the numbers are increasing every year. The causes of death include blood clots, acute respiratory distress, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown cause", which are obviously uncommon for teenagers. The vaccines must not be given during pregnancy as it causes spontaneous abortion and foetal abnormalities.

There is also concern it will encourage young women to have unprotected sexual intercourse at a younger age without concern of HPV infection, which is untrue as only 4 types of HPV are covered. The vaccine also contains aluminium as an adjuvant which is a toxic heavy metal for the nervous system. Considering the above evidence, I do not recommend the Gardasil vaccine to be given to anyone regardless of age or gender.
http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/ebm/record/22188159/full_citation/Human_papillomavirus_HPV_vaccine_policy_and

  • Ablation Cervical dysplasia (CIN I, II, III) are treated by a number of different ablation techniques to remove the abnormal cervical cells. CIN I generally resolves of its own accord so is usually not treated but repeat colposcopy (using a magnifying lens) tests given every 6 and 12 months until clear. Other techniques use laser therapy, loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEP) using an electrical current, or diathermy which is hot cauterisation. Cryotherapy or freezing of the lesions is an old technique that is not commonly used now. Cone biopsy is usually reserved for CIN III as it is more invasive. Treatments to remove abnormal tissue have excellent cure rates if caught early and regular Pap smears every 3 to 6 months are followed.
  • Retinoids There has been some interest in using retinoids or synthetic vitamin A derivatives given orally or topically to the cervix but these are ineffective for regression of CIN III.

 

Naturopathic Approach

Dietary and lifestyle changes are necessary for successful treatment of Cervical dysplasia. Extensive information and resources are given to help you make healthier choices, quit smoking if relevant and detoxify your body. Specific foods are targeted for optimal nutrition.
Nutritional deficiencies as well as enhancement of immune function are crucial using specific herbal and nutritional supplements.

Hormonal regulation is achieved using herbal medicines individually prescribed to rebalance the levels of oestrogen to progesterone, reduce the more toxic 16a-hydroxyestrone and support the clearance of this via the liver and bowel.

Treatment is concomitant with all ablation techniques and to enhance the healing of the cervix and reduce inflammation. You will be referred to your doctor or GP for blood tests and genitourinary infection checks, unless this has already been done so please bring in a copy of all test results.
Claudette provides comprehensive lifestyle advice including stress management, relaxation techniques, visualizations, exercise, personal hygiene products, environmental factors and referrals to complementary and supportive therapies.
Using the work of Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, and the work of Vianna Stibal, ThetaHealing┬«, you will be supported to do your own inner work and address any emotional connections to Cervical dysplasia so as to create health in all areas of your life. Claudette’s supportive approach makes this journey towards optimum health and balance rewarding and empowering.