January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and it gives us a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system located in the lower part of the uterus where it meets the vagina. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and can lead to cervical cancer if not monitored and treated properly. It is estimated that 79 million Americans currently have HPV and many are unaware they have it. The common age group affected by cervical cancer is 15-34.
Help Spread the Word:
- Encourage the women in your life to get their wellness visit this year
- Let women know that the health care reform law covers well-woman visits and cervical cancer screening. Depending on specific insurance policies, women can often times receive these services at no cost to them.
Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests). Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal cells early, before they turn into cancer. As always, eating a healthy diet and regulating stress levels are important in disease prevention. Nutrition plays a huge role in cervical health. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, pyridoxine, selenium, copper, and zinc have been found to be depleted in women with cervical dysplasia (abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix). At Rejuvena, we practice naturopathic medicine and the management of cervical dysplasia incorporates local, systemic, and constitutional treatments, implementing a variety of immune-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral botanicals.
Photo is courtesy of danville.patch.com