Doctors divide cervical cancer into two main types, named for the type of cell where the cancer started. Most common is the Squamous cell carcinomas, which make up about 90% of all cervical cancers. The other type is the Adenocarcinoma, which make up 10% of all cervical cancers. The most important thing is the knowledge of the risk factors.
The Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer. This infection is passed from one person to another during sexual intercourse. Factors that raise the risk of being infected with HPV include becoming sexually active at an early age, having many sexual partners (or having sex with a man who has had many partners), and having sex with a man who has penile warts. Other factors can raise a person’s risk of developing cervical cancer such as HIV infection. When a woman is infected with HIV, her immune system is less able to fight off early cancers. Women whose immune systems have been suppressed by modern corticosteroid medicines, kidney transplantations, or therapy for other cancers or AIDS are also at greater risk. Stressful living and smoking is another greater risk for developing cervical cancer.
What are the Signs and symptoms?
The early stages of cervical cancer may be completely asymptomatic. Vaginal bleeding, contact bleeding or (rarely) a vaginal mass may indicate the presence of malignancy. Also, moderate pain during sexual intercourse and vaginal discharge are symptoms of cervical cancer. In advanced disease, metastases may be present in the abdomen, lungs or elsewhere. Common symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include: loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, pelvic pain, back pain, leg pain, single swollen leg, heavy bleeding from the vagina, leaking of urine or faeces from the vagina, and bone fractures. The important signs are (i) Blood spots between or following periods, (ii) Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual, (iii) Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination, (iv) Pain during intercourse, (v) Bleeding after menopause and (vi) Unusual increased vaginal discharge.
How Diagnosis is made?
There are several methods of medical investigations such as (i) Pap smear: – A procedure to collect cells from the surface of the cervix and vagina. A piece of cotton, a brush, or a small wooden stick is used to gently scrape cells from the cervix and vagina. The cells are viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal. (ii) Colposcopy: – A procedure to look inside the vagina and cervix for abnormal areas, and (iii) Biopsy: – If abnormal cells are found in a Pap smear, the doctor may do a biopsy.
Cancer has become an epidemic in modern society these days. Anyone can be victim. No matter if you are fit or unfit. Western medicine does not have much to offer in terms of prevention apart from preventative excision and questionable cervical cancer vaccines (vaccines pose dangers for the immune system). Once a cancer is detected modern medicine pulls out the heavy invasive machinery: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery.
Can Ayurveda Help?
Being a preventive medicine, Ayurveda has definite protective influence over the killing disease. You know the Prana is the ultimate force that maintains our vitality. In Ayurvedic parlance this is named as Vata. We have to balance our Vata to keep away from killing cancer. There are many ways to boost our Prana and several therapies that can prevent deregulations of Vata. Cancer prevention is targeted towards creating balance and harmony through diet, lifestyle, anti-cancer herbs, Pranayama, Panchkarma detoxify program.
Consuming plenty of foods full of Prana (life-force) whole, fresh, sun-ripened, enzyme-rich, alkalizing, organic is one way to safe guard Prana (Vata). Since cancer cell love sugar you should eat low glycemic foods that have low sugar content. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, especially those that are in the cabbage family. Research has shown several ayurvedic resources that possess cancer fighting power.
Curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its yellow color, is said to inhibit tumor-promoting enzymes and interfere with the growth of cancerous tumors. As a powerful antioxidant, curcumin neutralizes free radicals that increase the risk of cancer. Coriander, rich in coriander, helps combat breast and liver cancers. Fresh coriander is known as cilantro, and is particularly powerful in detoxifying the body of heavy metals, such as lead or mercury. Eat a little ginger with each meal, and your risk of developing cancer drops significantly. Ginger not only kills cancer cells, it also prevents them from building up resistance to cancer treatment.
In recent research, fenugreek seeds were experimentally shown to protect against cancers of the breast, cervix and prostrate cancer. Fresh fenugreek leaves are particularly beneficial. There are many Ayurvedic herbs that have anti-carcinogenic properties, such as Amla, Ashwagandha, Triphala, Guduchi, Tulsi, Neem, and Brahmi.
Omni Amritam is a promising ayurvedic molecule that is especially good for preventing and fighting cervical and breast cancer: It is effective for relieving of the symptoms, and to balance Vata functions thus improving body immune system, and to reduce the chance of further spread. Omni Amritam is based on proven herbal ingredients viz: Kanchanara, Tulsi and Bhallataka traditionally processed with fresh juice of Guduchi, Turmeric and Rosemary. The later has potent cancer-fighting properties by blocking carcinogen-binding to DNA, and modifying metabolic enzymes to decrease the toxicity of a carcinogen. A 500 mg of this Rasayana should be taken twice a day after meal. Your treatment should be supervised by a well qualified and experienced ayurvedic doctor.
Author, Dr. Mukesh Jain is practicing Ayurveda Acharya since 1981. Double graduated in Basic Sciences, Ayurveda with Modern Medicine and Surgery both from Sagar & Ravi Shanker Universities. A teacher, researcher, an author of two scientific books on Ayurveda & Yoga; On editorial board of several journals including Global Ayurveda & Light on Ayurveda Journal and the Research Co-operative ning. Currently Dr Jain is head of Sanjivani Wellness Org in Bhilai, India.