“How many ways of being are there, sweet friend?” asks Grandmother Growth in
her warm way. You sense this is a serious question, and you fear you don’t
know the right answer.
“Between the yin and the yang, between the dark and the light, between
normal and abnormal, there are infinite shades and numberless ways of being.
Without lines, they arise and change, drift away or settle in, some
promoting your well-being, some eroding it. An erosive change is almost upon
us daughter. How will we meet it?
“Cells are changing in your cervix. They are going fast, faster, growing
fast, faster, too fast to be tidy, too fast to be symmetrical, too fast to
be orderly. How do we dance to this rhythm? Does it tear you loose from your
moorings? Does it set you adrift? Is it freedom?
“Cells are changing too fast for the guardians to cope; they are
overwhelmed. Where shall you find more help dearest granddaughter? Who will
you invoke to aid you? Can the guardians prevail and change the rhythm if
they are given reinforcements? Or must you kill the guardians along with the
cancer to stop the beat and still the music?
“Your story is unique my precious child. Your choices will arise from the
well of your own deep inner wisdom. Trust yourself. Trust me. I’ll hold you
hand as we dance, I’ll follow or lead, fast or slow, as you will. Let’s go!”
Do you actually have cervical cancer, or one of its precursors? This is an
important distinction. Current practice tends to over-treat women with
abnormal cells, dysplasia, hyperplasia, and in situ carcinomas. In nine out
of ten cases, if carcinoma in situ of the cervix is left untreated, it will
never progress to cervical cancer.(1)
“Physicians could confidently monitor patients for [amount and types of HPV]
virus with currently available tests for several months before deciding to
treat … more aggressively.”(2)
Cervical cancer in situ is generally very slow-growing; untreated, half will
regress and half will, over a period of 10-30 years progress to invasive
cancer.(3) About 10% of women have a fast-growing type - whose incidence may
be increasing - which becomes invasive within a year.(4) Cervical cancer is
most common in women 40-60 years of age, but it occurs frequently in women
under 35 years old.
In the USA, about five million Pap smears yearly reveal dysplasia; of those,
45,000 will be new cases of cervical carcinoma in situ and 10,000 will be
invasive cervical cancer.(5) Cervical cancer kills more than 4,000 American
women each year.
Black women in America are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical
cancer and almost three times as likely to die of it as white women. They
are older at the time of diagnosis and their disease is further advanced,
but they are less likely to receive aggressive treatments.(6)
Cervical cancer, it is now known, is caused by infection with certain
strains of HPV. A healthy immune system can prevent this; a weak one can’t.
That’s why cervical cancer is strongly related to lack of good sanitary
facilities, lack of vitamin C in the diet (less than 30mg a day increases
risk seven-fold), lack of carotenes in the diet (under 5000 IU daily triples
risk), smoking tobacco (triples risk), first intercourse before the age of
18 (triples risk; the cervix is immature and more easily damaged and
infected), long-term use of oral contraceptives (over 8 years quadruples
risk), multiple sexual partners (more than 5 quadruples risk), and a
monogamous relationship with a man who is uncircumsized and who has had more
than 25 partners.(7,8,9)
Is cervical cancer connected to inflammation? Women whose cervical tissues
are infected with HPV and also inflamed - by herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, [spermicides,
and violent penetration] - are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical
cancer as women who have HPV but no inflammatory events.(10)
Some procedures sound like diagnostic tests. A cone biopsy, despite its
name, is real surgery. See Step 6 of the Six Steps of Healing.
“Feelings of being used or raped are associated with chronic vaginitis,
chronic vulvar pain, recurrent wart, herpes, cervical cancer, and associated
abnormal Pap smears (cervical dysplasia).”(11)
Take back your power! Claim your cervix and your genitals as your own.
Possess your cervix. Accept it; love it; cherish it. When we reject a part
of ourselves, we can find ourselves “losing” that part to surgery.
Compared to women with other types of cancer, women with cervical cancer are
more likely to be sexually unhappy. They may dislike intercourse, but feel
that they must do it, and are often non-orgasmic in the presence of a man.
They are more likely to be divorced, separated, deserted, or “stuck” in a
relationship with a man who is unfaithful, undependable, or
Women with cervical cancer have been found to be low or deficient in a
number of nutrients, including vitamins A, B6 (pyridoxine), C, folate (folic
acid), and selenium.(14) Increasing your consumption of orange and green
vegetables, whole grains, sauerkraut, selenium-rich foods - like garlic,
seaweeds, and mushrooms - and pyridoxine-rich foods - like lentils,
broccoli, and potatoes won’t “cure” cancer. High-quality nutrition does,
however, provide the basis for normal healthy cells to replace the cancerous
ones, and primes the immune system to eliminate aberrant cells.
Extract of common privet berry (ligustrum vulgare, L. lucidum) has been
shown to inhibit cervical cancers in mice.(15) Even if it doesn't directly
eliminate cervical cancer, privet is happy to help reduce inflammation,
enhance white blood cells, and nourish the immune system.
Milk thistle seed tincture is a fantastic complementary medicine for anyone
choosing chemotherapy. And this large, striking plant may be anticancer,
too. Two alkaloids, silymarin and silibinin, reduce the growth of cervical,
breast, and prostate cancer cells.(16)
Castor oil is Edgar Cayce’s classic cancer treatment. In the case of
cervical cancer, Cayce recommended daily castor oil packs over the uterine
area, as well as five drops of castor oil orally at bedtime. In severe
cases, he added Atomidine and Glyco-Thymol to the regime.
Low levels of folic acid are associated with the development of cervical
cancer, perhaps because folate is needed for DNA repair. But no study has
shown that supplements, even in very high doses, can reverse it.(17)
Likewise, low levels of carotenoids in the diet and blood increase the risk
of invasive cervical cancer, but supplements are not a cure, and may even
prolong the presence of precancerous cells, helping them mature into
cancers. Studies have repeatedly found that beta-carotene supplements
“decrease spontaneous healing.” Women with CIN II who took beta-carotene
were more than twice as likely to progress as the controls were.(19,20)
High doses of vitamin C won’t help either; and may harm.(21)
Smoking tobacco causes a tumor suppresser gene to lose its ability to kill
cancer cells according to UCLA cervical-cancer researcher Dr. Christine
Holschneider. Perhaps that’s why women who smoke are more likely to get
cervical cancer and more likely to die of it, too. Isn’t it time to switch
to an herbal smoke? Make your own with coltsfoot, mullein, mint, and a touch
From the 1938 until 1971, more than six million unborn children in the USA
were exposed to the potent estrogen-like hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES or
desPLEX) when it was prescribed to their mothers in the mistaken belief that
it could prevent miscarriage and create bigger, stronger babies. Although
studies from 1954 on found the opposite to be true - women who took DES were
more likely to miscarry - this dangerous drug continued to be given to
pregnant women for 15 more years.(22)
DES daughters and sons have malformed reproductive systems, malfunctioning
immune systems, and a heightened sensitivity to carcinogens. DES-daughters
and granddaughters are especially likely to be diagnosed with fast-growing
clear cell adenocarcinoma or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of the
cervix or vagina.(23) Though many DES-daughters are diagnosed when young,
the is no age at which the danger disappears.(24)
The DES daughters and granddaughters that I know have remained cancer-free
by attention to healthy living and regular use of red clover blossom
infusion (1-3 quarts a week) and burdock root tincture (a dropperful a day,
more when stressed).
“…certain cancers, such as early-stage breast, cancer, prostate cancer,
cervical cancer and low grade lymphomas, respond very well to herbal
treatments, yet seem to be aggravated and sometimes worsened by surgical
procedures or other conventional treatments.”(25)
The rates of cervical cancer are four times less among women whose partners
have had a vasectomy.(26) Of course, once you already have cervical cancer,
this intervention is too late.
Women who douche four or more times a month are nearly four times more
likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.(27) Isn’t douching a way to
cleanse the vagina? Absolutely not. The vagina harbors beneficial organisms
(mostly bacteria) that prevent infection and may forestall cancer; douching
washes them away, leaving the cervix and vagina vulnerable.
A cone biopsy is real surgery, not just a biopsy. It was originally
conceived of as a uterus-sparing procedure for women with cervical cancer
who, usually from a desire to have children, were reluctant to undergo
hysterectomy. A cone biopsy requires anesthesia and is designed not just to
sample cells to test for cancer, as a biopsy would, but to remove all
possible cancerous tissues from the cervix along with a clean margin of
Over-treatment of cervical carcinoma in situ is common. Except in the rare
case of fast-growing microinvasive cancer, it is considered safe to explore
alternative treatments for 3-12 months before consenting to surgery. A high
percentage of in situ cervical cancers can be reversed.
1. JAMA, Feb. 1989, cited in “Ovarian Cysts,” HealthFacts, XVI (146), July
1991 2. “Amount of virus sets cancer risk,” L Seachrist, Science News, Vol
148, September 23, 1995 3. “One Way to Avoid Unnecessary Testing After
Ambiguous Pap Results,” HealthFacts, May 2001 4. “Screening for Cervical
Cancer,” HealthFacts, XV (136), Sept 1990 5. “Special Report: Gynecologic
Cancers,” Weill Medical College Women’s Health Advisor, June 2006 6.
“Differences in cervical cancer mortality among black and white women,” EA
Howell, Obstet Gynecol, 94(509-15), Oct 1999 7. “Does His Circumcision Lower
Her Risk for Cervical Cancer?,” Andrew Kaunitz MD, Journal Watch, 7(6):41 8.
“Screening for Cervical Cancer,” HealthFacts, Sept 1990 9. Encyclopedia of
Natural Medicine, M. Murray ND & J. Pizzorno ND, Prima Publishing, 1991 10.
“Co-conspirator? Genital herpes linked to cervical cancer,” N. Sepa, Science
News, 162:292 3, November 9, 2002 11. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom,
Christiane Northrup MD, Bantam, 1991 12. “Personality patterns in patients
with malignant tumors of the breast and cervix," Tarlau & Smalheiser,
Psychosomatic Medicine, vol 13(117), 1951 13. “Psychological setting of
uterine cervical cancer,” LG Koss, Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences, Vol 125(807-13), 1966 14. Encycl. of Natural Medicine, Murray &
Pizzorno, Prima, 1991; also, study by CE Butterworth, MD at U of Alabama Med
School 15. Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, Steven Foster and Rebecca
Johnson, National Geographic, 2006 16. Ibid 17. “Nutrients and Cervical
Cancer Prevention,” C Massion MD, Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health,
2(8):57 60, Aug 2000 18. “Physician’s Perspective: Alternative Cancer
Therapies Can Be Dangerous,” Carolyn Runowicz MD, Health News (NEJM), Feb
2003 19. “The effect of beta-carotene and the regression and progression of
cervical dysplasia,” J’rnal of Clinical Epidemiology, 44(273-283), 1991 20.
“Effects of beta carotene and other factors on the outcome of cervical
dysplasia,” Gynecology Oncology, 65(483-492), 1997 21. Randomized
double-blind trial of beta carotene and vitamin C in women with minor
cervical abnormalities,” British Journal of Cancer, 79(1448-1453), 1999 22.
“DES - Forgotten by many but still an important women’s health issue,” Ann
Mulligan, The Network News, Nov /Dec 1998 23. “DES: New Concerns,” Susan
Ince, Women’s Health and Fitness News, Dec 1988 24. Ibid note 24 25. Herbal
Medicine, Healing & Cancer, Donald Yance Jr., Keats, 1999 26. The Complete
Woman’s Herbal, Anne McIntyre, Henry Holt, 1994 27. “Douching: New Dangers
Identified,” Cynthia Pearson, The Network News, March 1991; study in Am. J.
of Epid, Feb 15, 1991
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