January is national Cervical Cancer awareness month and EliteHealth is here to promote the importance of getting checked and how prevention can help save a woman’s life. Here are some key facts on Cervical Cancer:
- This year, an estimated 12,900 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer
- It is estimated that 4,100 deaths will occur from Cervical Cancer this year
- Cervical Cancer is the leading cause of death in women, however, it has significantly declined since the increased amount of regular pap smears
Although regular pap smears are essential for women, they are a form of screening and not so much a form of prevention. Here are some things that affect the overall health of your cervix
- Lifecycle changes
- Immune system — the stronger, the better
- Smoking — both first hand and second hand
- High stress
- Poor diet
Cervical Cancer & Diet
There are numerous research reports showing the importance of a healthy diet and prevention of cancer. A study published in the journal Cancer Research found that women whose blood tests showed high levels of certain chemical compounds — indicating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables — were able to clear their HPV infections faster than their peers, which could help reduce the risk of cancer.
Cervical Cancer & Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been shown to block the growth of cancer tumors. Vitamin D is processed by the liver. The body then produces calcitriol, an active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol provides numerous benefits against cancer. This form of vitamin D encourages cells to either adapt to their organ or commit apoptosis (cell suicide). Calcitriol also limits blood supply to the tumor and reduces the spread of cancer. In addition, calcitriol helps keep the surface layer of organs intact. This reduces the likelihood that cancer cells can invade the organ.
Based on the studies reviewed here, it appears that vitamin D may reduce the risk of cervical cancer. The effects are better for nonsmokers than smokers. Smokers would likely have to have higher vitamin D intake or production to receive the same benefits as nonsmokers. Based on results for other cancers, vitamin D levels in the 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) range may provide reasonable protection.
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