8 Natural Treatments for HPV Infections
Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common gynecologic cancer and the 8th most common cancer among women in the US. Mean age at diagnosis is 50, but the cancer can occur as early as age 20. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the US, 13,170 new cases of invasive cervical cancer and 4,250 deaths from cervical cancer will occur in 2019, of those new cases 120 are estimated to occur in Connecticut based on past data. Cervical cancer results from cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), which appears to be caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is among the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). HPV is transmitted from lesions during skin-to-skin contact.
Risk Factors and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Risk factors for cervical cancer and dysplasia include: younger age at first intercourse, a high lifetime number of sexual partners, cigarette smoking and immunodeficiency, poor diet, long term oral contraceptive use, chronic cervicitis, environmental carcinogens.
Regardless of sexual history, one should assume that exposure has occurred with HPV as it is everywhere or ubiquitous. Current recommendations for a Papanicolaou test or Pap smear include all women regardless of history to start screening at age 21 and continue every 3 years until the age of 30. Once 30, every 5 years with HPV testing or co-testing until age 65 or continue every 3 years with solely the PAP smear.
Cervical cancer is typically a squamous cell carcinoma caused by human papillomavirus infection; less often, it is an adenocarcinoma. Cervical neoplasia is asymptomatic; the first symptom of early cervical cancer is usually irregular, often vaginal bleeding after sex. Diagnosis is by a cervical Pap smear and biopsy and staging is clinical. Within the typical medical setting, treatment may involve surgical resection for early-stage disease or radiation therapy plus chemotherapy for locally advanced disease. If the cancer has widely metastasized, chemotherapy is often used alone.
from the body within 1-2 years.
Vaccinations for HPV
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three vaccines that prevent infection with disease-causing HPV types: Gardasil®, Gardasil® 9, and Cervarix®. All three vaccines prevent infection with HPV types 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and an even higher percentage of some of the other HPV-caused cancers. Gardasil® also prevents infection with HPV types 6 and 11 which cause 90% of genital warts. Gardasil® 9 prevents infection with the same four HPV types plus five additional cancer-causing types (31, 33, 45, 52 and 58). As of May 2017, Gardasil® 9 is the only HPV vaccine available for use in the United States. Cervarix and Gardasil are utilized in other countries. As of June 14, 2019 (current reporting) in VAERS of the search “VAERS ID, VACCINE: GARDASIL 9 ADVERSE REACTIONS” there are 681,485 rows of information when a max is 10,000. With a more specific search there were still too many adverse reactions to list.
If you are considering for your child(ren) (as it is given to both males and females) or yourself, I suggest doing your full research and making an informed decision, looking into your family history of HPV, cancers and risk assessment, include in your search VAERS, know the pamphlets and current recommendations to not vaccinate, autoimmunity associated with vaccines and vaccine ingredients. If you choose to get the vaccine, talk with a naturopath to make sure your body is adequately prepared for the injection to offset any possible reactions and to help your body acclimate, and provide a proper immune response. If you choose to not vaccine, I recommend you also seek a naturopath to see what you can do to improve your lifestyle and diet to limit risks.
Most HPV infections are cleared from the body within 1-2 years. If you have HPV or your sexual partner(s) do, all parties may need to be assessed to determine if treatment is necessary. If you have cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer or had abnormal Paps do not wait to seek treatment, you must take action.
Natural Treatments for HPV Infection
1. Escharotics: weekly sessions (sessions vary depending on both clinical observations, and laboratory diagnostics). This is performed by a clinician directly to the cervix.
2. Green Tea (or matcha): tea suppositories twice weekly; and either one oral capsule daily or 5 cups of green tea daily or 1 cup of match daily.
3. AHCC: studies found that 1 gram for 8 months helped patients clear HPV and in the same trial/study a parallel study was performed which showed 3 grams for 3-6 months.
4. Vitamin A: a daily recommended dosage is 5,000 IU daily. This should be discussed with your naturopath, and may be increased depending on circumstances and need. If it is determined that you should take more, an adequate birth control method should be utilized during treatment as high doses of Vitamin A may cause birth abnormalities.
5. Vitamin E: 400 IU daily of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. This may be increased if discussed with your provider.
6. Folate: you can get from your daily vitamin, or sources such as: Okra, spinach, artichoke, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, avocado, papaya, oranges and their juice, lentils, peas (chickpeas, blackeyed, and pigeon), mung beans, adzuki beans, sunflower seeds (without shell).
7. Selenium: 2-4 each daily is adequate.
8. Zinc: from a supplement or food sources such as: Nuts (pine, cashews, almonds), lentils, seeds (sesame, sunflower), meats (liver, veal, beef, lamb, venison, bison); and shellfish (oysters, mussels, shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster), and from anchovies and octopus.
There are other treatment options and a full protocol may need to be put into place to best meet your needs. The best part about seeking treatment is that you don’t have to do it alone. You can form a team and utilize the vast amount of knowledge from your providers to get the best treatment options tailored to your needs and desires. In your protocol, you come first. It is best to discuss priorities and your providers can discuss which options can wait or which ones need to be addressed sooner than later.
Dr. Cora Stover, ND is a licensed physician at ProNatural Physicians Group and is accepting new patients. Call for an appointment at 860-829-0707. To learn more about naturopathic medicine, visit: ProNaturalPhysicians.com or look for ProNatural Physicians on FaceBook. ProNatural Physicians Group NDs are providers for most major insurance carriers. ProNaturalPhysicians@comcast.net
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