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Diet and cervical cancer: What is the connection?

Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers. It assesses the American Cancer Society about 14,000 people will receive a diagnosis of cervical cancer in the United States by 2022.

Up to 99.7% of cases of cervical cancer are due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This viral infection causes abnormal changes in the cervix, leading to development of this type of cancer.

Doctors can diagnose cervical cancer during routine health screenings such as Cardboard smears and HPV testing. The condition is often asymptomatic.

In addition to regular cell samples and HPV testing, there are three HPV vaccines which protects against some HPV strains known to cause cervical cancer.

Other factors that influence The development of HPV for cervical cancer includes smoking, exposure to environmental toxins, concomitant infection with sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and diet and nutrition.

Diet and nutrition play one role in the development of cervical cancer.

In fact, adequate nutrition helps to optimize the immune system, which in turn eliminates HPV and helps the body respond to cancerous tumors.

However, research into the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention or reduction of the risk of developing cervical cancer has focused on antioxidant nutrients and dietary patterns which mitigates the effects of HPV.

Diets with high inflammatory potential - like the Western dietary pattern - are associated with the development of cervical cancer, especially among women who have an HPV infection and a sedentary lifestyle.

A Western diet - which is typically high in saturated fat and trans fat, with added sugar and sodium - is reportedly rising chronic inflammation and makes it more challenging to control HPV infections. Persistent HPV infection leads to the development of cervical cancer.

On the other hand, adhering to a Mediterranean-style diet - rich in fruits, vegetables, peas or beans, healthy fats and fish - can lead to a lower risk of both HPV infection and cervical cancer.

Ingested by antioxidants, like carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, and vitamins C, E and A can suppress the development of cervical cancer, especially among those who smoke.

In addition, nutrients such as folate, D vitamin, and lycopene may stop the development of HPV for cervical cancer.

Each of these antioxidant nutrients plays different protective and overlapping roles during the developmental stages of cervical cancer.

Therefore, it is best to focus on overall dietary patterns and not just on individual nutrients.

An observational study in nearly 300,000 women suggests that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables - which are rich in various antioxidant nutrients - is associated with a reduced risk of cervical cancer.

A daily increase of 100 grams (g) of fruit, equivalent to 1 cup of cranberries, was associated with a reduced risk of cervical cancer. Likewise, a daily increase of 100 g of vegetables has a similar effect.

Adoption of a dietary pattern similar to the Mediterranean diet reduces risk of inflammation and cervical cancer.

One person could eat more:

  • fruits and vegetables with a focus on different colors and textures
  • complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain rice, pasta, bread and couscous
  • nuts, seeds and olive oil, which are healthy unsaturated fats, to replace saturated fats and trans fats
  • herbs and spices, such as onions and garlic, while limiting added sodium
  • low-fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • legumes such as peas, lentils and beans, including garbanzo beans and red beans

In addition to maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet, the use of a daily multivitamin supplement among women with HPV connected with a less severe HPV infection and a lower risk of progression to cervical cancer.

Foods with high inflammatory potential are associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer.

The "fast food culture" of the Western diet, characterized by processed foods that are low in dietary fiber and rich in added sugar, increases inflammation and is implied in the development of cancer.

Therefore, foods to be restricted or avoided include:

  • foods with high added sugar
  • processed meats such as delicacies
  • Red meat
  • foods high in saturated fat and trans fat

The excessive consumption of added sugar from sugary drinks, milk desserts and edible sugar increased the risk of cancer significantly in a 10-year observational study in over 100,000 individuals.

Red meat veal, pork and lamb in an amount of 101-200 g per day are associated with an increased risk of developing cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Limit intake of animal-based and industrially produced sources of saturated fat and trans fat, which research has shown promotes the growth of cancerous tumors.

Naturally occurring and plant-based sources of saturated fat and trans fat did not have a negative impact on cancer risk.

Pro-inflammatory foods upset the balance of "good" bacteria lives in the gut, causes inflammation and increases the risk of cancer.

There are several natural remedies at home that promise to treat or cure cervical cancer without medical intervention.

Some natural practices - such as drinking green tea - can offer benefits for a person with cervical cancer. However, these do not replace the need for appropriate medical intervention and treatment.

Despite new research for medicinal herbs for the treatment of cervical cancer, further examination of these anti-cancer plants, their active compounds and safe doses are required.

Always consult your oncology medical team to determine the best treatment options.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers. HPV infection causes 99.7% of cases.

There is a clear link between diet and nutrition, the development of HPV infection and the subsequent development of cervical cancer.

The fast food culture of the Western diet - characterized by processed foods, red meat, low dietary fiber and high added sugar - is pro-inflammatory and associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer.

Research suggests that antioxidant nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamins A, C, E, D and folate - all of which are found mainly in a Mediterranean diet - can prevent or reduce HPV infection and, by extension, the development of cervical cancer.

Limit pro-inflammatory foods and increase fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidant nutrients, to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

Avoid replacing appropriate medical intervention and treatment with home-herbal remedies to treat cervical cancer. Consult your oncology medical team for the best treatment options.

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