Cervical Dysplasia [CD] is a condition wherein normal cells in the cervix undergo abnormal changes. These cells are not cancerous but they can become cancerous if not promptly treated. Cancer of the cervix is one of the most common cancers afflicting women in the United States today with about 5,000 deaths and 16,000 cases arising in the US each year. These facts should cause women to take cervical dysplasia (CD) seriously and having a CD diagnosis is important to screen them of this disease. The good news is that light to moderate types of CD can be completely cured with the use of TCM or traditional Chinese Medicine coupled with a healthy lifestyle.
The Human Papilloma Virus is one of the primary causes of CD. This virus is actually a common pathogen that can be transmitted through sexual contact. The Human Papiloma Virus or HPV has different types. TCM has no procedure to diagnose both HPV and CD. The only way to diagnose them is through Pap smear exams. These exams will make sure your cervix is free of abnormal cells and if it’s not, you can at least be given prompt treatment for this condition.
Conventional western medicine lists the factors that can make you more at risk of developing CD:
-Using drugs or having illnesses that weaken your immune system
-Having more than one sexual partner
-Not getting a Pap smear for long periods of time
-Becoming active sexually before the age of 18
A lot of doctors are not really sure why having sex before reaching the age of 18 put females at higher risk of CD. The prevailing reason for this is that at a young age, a female may likely have more than one sexual partner. Another more weighty reason is that the cervix undergoes a process known as metaplasia over time. The exposed part of the columnar cells located on the cervix is known as the “transformation zone” and over the course of time the columnar cells are replaced by flat cells, termed squamous cells. If the transformation zone is infected by a sexually conveyed carcinogen during a time when cellular activity is at its peak (typically during adolescence), the likelihood of getting pre-cancer can be very much a possibility. This information in fact, jibes interestingly with that of the traditional Chinese medicine perspective that becoming sexually active at a young age can be harmful to the Penetrating and Directing Vessels (associated with the female reproductive organs) since these vessels and the uterus are quite delicate and vulnerable at that age. During adolescence, girls are quite prone to the effects of certain diseases and emotional problems and these factors can have a very deep impact on their life. Diseases and emotional problems experienced during the time of puberty may cause the slow movement of Qi in the liver and this can easily affect the girl’s genital system.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Human Papilloma Virus and Cervical Dysplasia
TCM is a holistic type of medicine and it takes into account the entire body when evaluating disharmony and disease. A thorough intake process enables TCM practitioners to understand the underlying cause of the imbalance. The initial intake process considers the internal condition of the patient, her habits, environment and lifestyle. Moreover, the process of diagnosis depends upon the observation of the tongue and palpation of the stomach and pulse. The TCM practitioner utilizes all of this information to diagnose the underlying cause and location of the disharmony/imbalance based on TCM pattern diagnosis. The practitioner develops a plan of treatment grounded on the patient’s own unique constitution once a diagnosis has been made.
The primary form of TCM treatment for HPV and CD includes a combination of dietary therapy, lifestyle changes, Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture. Diet therapy is quite important since studies have revealed that about 67% of the women suffering from CD also suffer from nutritional deficiencies. CD sufferers were particularly short of vitamin B6, vitamin C and beta-carotene in their body. TCM practitioners are able to determine the foods that can augment the patient’s nutritional deficiencies through an eastern nutrition profile. The patient needs to consume foods that benefit her constitution to rejuvenate and heal her body.
The duration of the treatment will be based on the patient’s preexisting medical conditions, her overall health and the severity of her HPV symptoms. These factors are normally evaluated during the initial consultation with her TCM practitioner.
Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.