Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
How does the progression of cervical cancer happen from a healthy cervix to cancer? What is done to stop or slow down the process?
A: The stages of progression from a healthy cervix to cancer begin with what is called mild dysplasia, which is a precancerous alteration in structure and activity. Then altered cells spread from the surface of the cervix down toward the underlying tissue. In the early stages, cancerous changes may disappear on their own, but once these cells fully penetrate the lining, progression to true cancer usually occurs within 5 to 10 years.
Medical treatment consists of watchful waiting for spontaneous regression during the early stages. If no regression occurs, more aggressive measures are used, such as removal of the cervical lining by laser, freezing, or other techniques. These options are usually successful; however, they are invasive and frequently uncomfortable. Studies have found that women with cervical dysplasia tend to show a high frequency of general nutritional deficiencies, as high as 67% in one survey. For this reason, it probably makes sense to take a multivitamin and a mineral supplement.
You might also try out the Traditions of Tao herbal formula “Cancer Support”, which reinvigorates the immune system and “Women’s Wellness”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.