Cervical Cancer Prevention: 10 Diet Tips for Susceptible Women

cervical cancer diet

In this section of our Guide to Cervical Cancer Prevention, you will find a collection of diet tips that may help women reduce their risk of getting cervical cancer. However, before getting into the tips, let’s take a quick look at what cervical cancer is:

Cervical cancer (cancer of the cervix) is the second most common cancer in women. In 2009, an estimated 11,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 4,000 women will die from this slow- growing cancer. The cervix is the narrow part of the uterus through which babies are born. Cervical cells can go through many types of changes, most of which are harmless and not related to cancer. These changes can be caused by a number of factors, including HPV infection. HPVs (human papillomaviruses) are a group of more than 100 related viruses, many of which can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. About 15 types of the 100 types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.

In most cases, however, HPV infections go away on their own. But sometimes, especially when the levels of the female hormone estrogen are abnormally high, cells infected with HPV turn into precancerous cells, which can become cancer. Instead of dying, the cervical cancer cells outlive normal cells, invade adjacent tissues, and sometimes spread to other parts of the body via lymph or blood (process called metastasis). So-called pap tests are performed by health care professionals to identify abnormal changes in the cervical cells.

Although a HPV infection is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer, it is not the only one. Research suggests that other factors, such as smoking and having given birth to many children, may also increase the risk of cervical cancer. Furthermore, certain dietary factors, described below, may influence the risk of cervical cancer. The paragraphs below describe 10 great diet tips that can help reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

Important notice: The information on this page and elsewhere on this website has not been reviewed by dieticians or medical professionals, and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.

 

#1: Choose Low Glycemic Foods

Low GI foods form the basis of all anti-cancer diets.

Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of the ability of carbohydrate-rich foods to raise blood sugar (glucose). Foods that are slowly digested — such as most non-starchy vegetables, legumes and fruit — encourage stable blood glucose levels and have a low Glycemic Index rating. Foods that break down quickly, including most refined carbohydrate-rich foods and potatoes, cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels and are rated high on the Glycemic Index. Diets rich in high-Gi carbohydrates have been associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. This link is likely to be related to the ability of high-GI foods to stimulate the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), two hormones that have been shown to promote tumor proliferation, progression, and spreading within the body.

 

#2: Avoid Excess Protein

Already at the beginning of the 20th century, John Beard, a Scottish cancer researcher, proposed that the body’s primary defense against proliferating cancer cells is pancreatin. Pancreatin is essentially a mix of protein-digesting enzymes, but these enzymes also have another purpose: the eradication of cancer. Diets that are extremely rich in protein keep the pancreatic emzymes busy digesting protein, which means that little time is left for these enzymes to fight cervical cancer. Experts suggest that the body needs a protein-free period of approximately 12 hours a day in order to combat cancer efficiently.

 

Broccoli

I3C in cruciferous vegetables may help guard against cervical cancer.

#3: Eat Foods That Deliver I3C

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts have long been touted for their ability to prevent cancer, including cervical cancer. The cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables largely attributable to indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables when they are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to promote the detoxification of many harmful substances, including carcinogens, and to have strong antioxidant properties. Moreover, indole-3-carbinol appears have anti-estrogenic activitieswhich may provide additional protection against cervical cancer.

 

#4: Count on Curcumin

Curcumin, a phytochemical that gives turmeric its bright yellow color, has been shown to be capable of fighting almost any type of cancer. Researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) near New Nelhi in India recently discovered that curcumin can also help fight cervical cancer by protecting the body from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the main cause of uterine and cervical cancer. Curcumin appears to arrest the development of cervical cancer by inactivating the HPV that lurks inside cervical cancer cells.

 

#5: Consume Foods That Provide Ellagic Acid

Raspberries

Raspberries are the best dietary source of ellagic acid.

In the battle against cervical cancer, ellagic acid may well be your best weapon. Scientific evidence suggests that ellagic acid can effectively eliminate cervical cancer causing substances by activating certain detoxifying enzymes in the body. Ellagic acid also seems to be able to prevent carcinogens from attaching to cellular DNA. Furthermore, ellagic acid has been shown to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancerous cells and to induce normal self-destruction of human cancer cells. Ellagitannin — which is converted into ellagic acid by the body — is found in a number of red fruits and berries, raspberries being one of the best dietary sources of this extraordinary cervical cancer fighting phytochemical. Also some nuts, such as walnuts and pecans, contain ellagic acid.

 

#6: Avoid Foods That Contain Nitrates

Nitrates are natural substances found in the air, surface water, ground water, soil, and plants. Food manufacturers also use nitrates are also to give processed and cured meat a deep red color. Once consumed, the body can convert nitrates into nitrites, which can turn into nitrosamines. Scientific evidence suggests that nitrosamines can cause cancer in humans. However, certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, have been shown to effectively inhibit nitrosamine formation. As vegetables usually contain large amounts of antioxidant substances, nitrosamine formation is usually not a concern when you eat vegetables and other plant foods. This is supported by epidemiological studies of human populations which show no link between a high consumption of nitrate-containing vegetables and cancer, but which indicate that diets rich in nitrate-containing processed foods can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

 

#7: Avoid Foods That May Be Contaminated with Aflatoxin

Select Fresh Grains, Nuts and Legumes. Some fungi that grow on food can produce carcinogenic substances during processing, storage, and transport. These substances include aflatoxin, a poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavusAflatoxin may cause cervical cancer due to its ability to damage DNA. Peanuts are particularly susceptible to aflatoxin invasion, but also many other foods, including whole grains, legumes, and nuts may be contaminated. Aflatoxin is resistant to cooking and freezing, but you can greatly reduce your risk of exposure by:

only consuming fresh seeds, nuts and grains (or at least you should avoid nuts and grains from last year’s harvest)
looking for signs of proper storage and avoiding foods from countries that have substandard storage requirements
discarding nuts that look or taste suspicious
eating green vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll — chlorophyll has been shown to reduce aflatoxins levels

 

Kiwi_fruit

Vitamin C, abundant in kiwis, has numerous health promoting properties.

#8:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C and vitamin E have strong antioxidant powers and properties that help boost the immune system. Therefore, a diet rich in vitamin C and vitamin E may help reduce your odds of developing cervical cancer. In addition to their antioxidant and immune sytem boosting activities, vitamin C and vitamin E can inhibit the formation of nitrosamine, a potentially carcinogenic substance. However, the impact of vitamin C on nitrosamine formation might be relevant only if there is no fat in the stomach: A group of researches replicated the chemical conditions of the upper stomach and measured the impact of vitamin C on the production of nitrosamines, both when fat was present in the stomach and when it was absent. In the absence of fat, vitamin C decreased the levels of nitrosamines, but when some fat was added, vitamin C actually boosted the formation of nitrosamines.

 

#9:  Reduce Fat Intake, Especially From Animal Fat

Rich in arachidonic acid, animal fat has been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Arachidonic acid has been shown to enhance cancer growth and to facilitate its spread, and some studies suggest that arachidonic acid may also destroy immune cellsinvolved in the protection against cervical cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts, are believed to have a protective effect against cervical cancer. However, even then you might want to limit the total intake of fat to approximately 20% of total caloric intake because all fatty acids stimulate the production of bile which may be converted into apocholic acid, a proven carcinogen, if a lot of fat stagnates in the gut for too long.

 

#10:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral vital to the production of more than 200 essential enzymes in the body, one of them being superoxide dismutase (SOD). The role of SOD in the antioxidant system of the body is well documented, indicating that this powerful enzyme may provide protection against cervical cancer by destroying harmful free radicals. In addition, zinc may also reduce the risk of cervical cancer by helping the immune system to eliminate abnormal or worn out cells before they multiply themselves and become potentially cancerous.

 

 



Immune disorders impact student lives

“I’m young, and it’s not going to prevent me from doing all of the things that I want to do,” she said. “I just take things one day at a time and do the best that I can.”

_______________________

By Hannah Lathen

SE student Janna Gentry lives with a mother who has Crohn’s disease and lupus, causing her to have stomach ulcers and inflamed joints.

Online student Laken Reeder has Sjogren’s syndrome, causing extreme pain and difficulties with eating.

TCC students are fighting hidden and misunderstood battles with autoimmune diseases. Even though they affect 1 in 6 people, many do not understand what they are or that they exist.

An autoimmune disease occurs in the body when one’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells. Instead of protecting the body from foreign invaders, the system starts hurting organs.

autoimmune_sjogren's_plasma_research

NE nurse Susan Alvarado says autoimmune diseases can be triggered by different events.

“Some are more genetic. Some are more environmental,” she said. “Some are chemically induced.”

Alvarado said it is important students let their campus nurse know about their condition and to let student accessibility resources know if they have special needs.

The more common autoimmune diseases are lupus, psoriasis, celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes. Over 80 different autoimmune diseases exist, and they affect the body differently.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, and multiple sclerosis occurs when the immune system strips away the protective covering on nerves.

Some people can live regular lives while some remain sick and in debilitating pain.

Autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million Americans, which is more than cancer and heart disease, according to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, which acknowledges March as Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month. Of those 50 million, 75 percent are women.

These diseases do serious harm when they are not diagnosed in time. Patients often go years without getting the proper treatment, and sometimes by then, sufficient damage has been done to organs.

Gentry’s mother suffers with both Crohn’s disease and lupus. Crohn’s disease causes her mother to have ulcers in the stomach, Gentry said.

“Whenever you eat, it is painful, and it ends up coming right back up. She is always throwing it up or going to the bathroom, which obviously causes a whole bunch of other issues like malnutrition,” she said. “Lupus mainly attacks the joints and also affects the skin. She gets rashes and things like that.”

Gentry lives at home with her mother and three other siblings.

“We try to do as much as we can to make her life easier like going to the grocery store, cooking dinner because she can’t because her joints are flaring,” she said. “She can’t stand up or get dressed by herself. I have even had to help her to the bathroom a few times because it has gotten so bad.”

The hardest part of having a mother who suffers from autoimmune disease, Gentry said, is not being able to help as much as she wants.

“It doesn’t matter the amount of times I say, ‘I am sorry’ or ‘I wish I could take your pain away,’” she said.

When it comes to how her mother deals with the diseases, Gentry said it took a few years for her mother to accept it, but she still has days where she gets frustrated.

“She is very strong-willed,” Gentry said. “Even when she is hurting, she tries to do as much as she can.”

Many times, Gentry’s friends don’t understand that she must take care of her mom more than they do, Gentry said. That attitude comes along with them not understanding her mother’s diseases.

“I just want people to know that because a person is sick, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are incapable of doing things or wanting to be happy with their life, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that they are lazy because they are hurting and they can’t do things that other people can,” she said.

Reeder suffers with Sjogren’s syndrome, a disorder that affects moisture-producing glands.

“It affects my nose, eyes, mouth and all of the glands in my body,” she said. “I also have mild joint pain. Some days, I wake up with swollen hands and feet.”

Headaches and low energy are some of the symptoms she experiences, but Reeder said the worst part is when the glands located in her jaw swell.

“It makes it hurt to brush my teeth, to chew gum, to eat,” she said. “When I was a senior in high school, my right gland had swollen to the size of a baseball.”

Sometimes, the pain from the swollen gland in her neck would hurt so bad that it brought her to the floor, Reeder said.

“The doctor told me I had TMJ [temporomandibular joint dysfunction], but we knew that was wrong because those were not my symptoms,” she said. “So then I went to an oral surgeon, and he thought it might be an infection and put me on some pretty harsh antibiotics, which did nothing for me.”

An MRI revealed nothing, she said, so she left it alone for a while. It wasn’t until she went in for a checkup with her OB-GYN bloodwork that revealed something was off.

“She referred me to a rheumatologist, and I got bloodwork done through them and they confirmed it,” she said.

Sjogren’s is treated systematically, Reeder said.

“They tell me to drink more water, get more sleep, not to do many demanding things in a day, and to suck on lemon drops to help my glands,” she said. “If my Sjogren’s gets worse throughout my lifetime, then there is medicine I can be put on, but at this age in my life, I try to do everything I can to prevent having to be put on medicine.”

The hardest part of her disease, Reeder said, was not having much energy since she works and goes to school.

“On my days off, I want to go do things, run errands and hang out with my friends and family, but sometimes I just don’t physically have the energy for it,” she said. “And it sucks some days not being able to eat anything because I’m in so much pain from my glands in my face swelling.”

Despite the symptoms, she said she does not let her disease control her life.

“I’m young, and it’s not going to prevent me from doing all of the things that I want to do,” she said. “I just take things one day at a time and do the best that I can.”

Read article here.

If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you might be eligible to donate plasma or a blood specimen and earn $50-300 or more. Visit www.plasmamedpatients.com for more info or call/text 561-962-5065.

What, Me Donate Plasma for Research?

The reasons are fairly obvious and straightforward. Research undertaken in the past by committed and forward-thinking people has given us a standard of living and life expectancies that would have been unimaginable not that long ago. It’s easy to take all of this for granted. Treatments for diseases that were deadly and intractable didn’t come out of a vacuum. Every one of us is healthier, happier, and some of us are actually still alive, solely because some nameless people made a commitment to research.

Participation in research studies comes in a few broad categories. Some studies seek only patient records in order to establish trends and extract data on the relative successes and failures of various treatment modalities. Other studies administer investigational drugs to patients in double-blind trials as part of the final phases of their approval. At Plasma MedResearch, LLC, we recruit patients for a third type of study. Our participants donate biospecimens in the form of plasma or blood samples along with various other body tissues and fluids as research requirements dictate. These patients are then compensated for their donation, time and travel, depending on the study and the specimen given.

Why are people reluctant to get involved? There are many reasons ranging from logistics, family/work responsibilities, impaired health, lack of mobility, and privacy concerns. These are all very valid reasons to take a pass on participating. In this day and age people are simply not comfortable having their personal information “out there”. This is understandable. Anyone who works with Plasma MedResearch, LLC, can rest assured that their personal information is protected. We meet and exceed all existing HIPAA and regulatory requirements for the safeguarding of personal information. Our commitment to our donors’ privacy cannot overstated.

We serve biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and Universities around the world. Our capabilities include a wide range of disease-state biospecimens, from Arthritis to Zika. People who consider donating often ask to know what research institution will be using their specimen and the exact nature of the study. Although this is a great question, it is not possible to answer. Regulations require a strict de-linking between donor and researcher. The most important part of this that researchers cannot know any identifying information about the person who provided the specimen. This is a critical protection for the donor. But, as a consequence, the donor cannot be privy to information about the people and company(ies) doing the actual research.

The selfless act of donating a specimen to a particular research study will have a positive ripple effect down through the generations, improving the quality of life on planet Earth.