Brenda Spriggs, MD, MPH, MBA
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects women. This type of cancer is often detected during routine pap smears and tends to be slow-growing. It is usually caused by the human papilloma virus, which enters your body during sexual intercourse and spreads throughout your reproductive system. Symptoms may include a bloody vaginal discharge; irregular vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods, following sexual intercourse or during menopause; loss of appetite; severe fatigue; pelvic pain or back pain. Certain herbs and vitamins can help manage cervical cancer, ease cervical cancer symptoms and encourage healing.
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Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that improves immune system function and protects your cervix from harmful free radicals that can cause precancerous and cancerous cells on the surface of your cervix, according to Tori Hudson, author of the book "Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness." Hudson explains that vitamin A also reduces the severity of cervical cancer, repairs damaged cervical tissues, decreases cervical inflammation, alleviates cervical cancer symptoms such as back pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, fatigue and loss of appetite, regulates cellular reproduction, slows the progression of cancerous cells and prevents recurrences of cervical cancer. Foods rich in vitamin A include turkey liver, duck, lamb, broccoli, apples, spinach, tomatoes, peaches, kale, peas and apricots.
Vitamin B-2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin that prevents precancerous or cancerous cells from developing on your cervix, repairs damaged cervical tissues, decreases cervical and reproductive system inflammation, eradicates the human papilloma virus and lowers your risk of cervical dysplasia, abnormal cells on the surface of your cervix that can lead to cervical cancer in some women, according to the World Health Organization's book “Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control: A Guide to Essential Practice.” Foods rich in vitamin B-2 include liver, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms, eggs, almonds, milk and sardines.
Cat's claw, also known as Uncaria tomentosa, is an herb that strengthens your immune system and protects your body from infections, viruses and diseases that can encourage the spread of cervical cancer, according to Josef Beuth, Ralph Moss and Ulrich Abel, authors of the book “Complementary Oncology: Adjunctive Methods in the Treatment of Cancer.” Beuth, Moss and Abel explain that cat’s claw also relieves cervical cancer symptoms such as irregular bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge and pelvic pain, plus it prevents cellular damage, decreases cervical inflammation and lowers your risk of precancerous cells on the surface of your cervix. Cat’s claw is available in teas, liquid extracts and capsules.
Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an herb that enhances immune system function, reduces cervical inflammation, destroys the human papilloma virus, alleviates cervical cancer symptoms such as heavy or excessive bleeding and pelvic pain, heals cervical lesions caused by cervical cancer and prevents the spread of cervical cancer cells, according to Ping-Chung Leung and Harry Fong, authors of the book “Alternative Treatment for Cancer.” Turmeric is available in capsules, liquid extract and tincture.
- “Cervical Cancer: From Etiology to Prevention”; Thomas E. Rohan and Keerti V. Shah; 2004
- “Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control: A Guide to Essential Practice”; World Health Organization; 2006
- “Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness”; Tori Hudson; 2007
- “Complementary Oncology: Adjunctive Methods in the Treatment of Cancer”; Josef Beuth, Ralph W. Moss and Ulrich Abel; 2006
- “Alternative Treatment for Cancer”; Ping-Chung Leung and Harry Fong; 2007