by Dr. Denise Grobe —
Cervical dysplasia refers to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix that are seen underneath a microscope (an abnormal pap). The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens at the top of the vagina. These changes do not necessarily indicate cancer, but they can lead to cancer of the cervix if not treated.
Escharotic treatments — the natural option
With recent attention on the human papillomavirus (HPV) as a cause of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer, along with the limitations of the HPV vaccine, it is reassuring for women to know that they have treatment options. We know that not all women with a HPV infection develop cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer.
It is, therefore, suggested that multiple factors contribute to the progression of the disease. For example, treating nutrient deficiencies and supporting the immune system can reduce dysplastic lesions. Studies have shown that specific dietary changes, supplementation and topical (escharotic) treatments can improve lesion status and prevent cervical cancer.
An escharotic treatment is an alternative naturopathic method that is indicated for patients who have moderate to severe cervical dysplasia.
This is an in-office procedure in which a botanical and mineral mixture is topically applied to the cervix to stimulate abnormal cell death and healthy cell growth (Alternative Medicine Review, May 2003, Marshall). These botanicals and minerals target the abnormally growing cells and cause them to die off.
An added benefit is that an escharotic treatment only targets abnormally growing cells. This lessens the risk of scarring and damage to the cervix, and it also makes the procedure more efficient than other treatments that remove cervical tissue. Moreover, it utilizes and enhances the body’s own ability to heal itself.
In conjunction, suppositories, supplements and dietary changes are prescribed as part of the treatment protocol to stimulate the immune system and heal the cervix. These may be all that are necessary for milder cases of cervical dysplasia. This is most often recommended for those with low-grade cervical dysplasia that persists or in older patients.
Dr. Denise Grobe, a naturopathic physician, practices at the Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine in Mesa, Ariz. She specializes in integrative medicine, gut health, metabolic syndrome, weight loss, hormones and women’s medicine. 480-539-6646, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.trueharmonywellness.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 2, April/May 2012.