My journey into alternative HPV treatments began in 1995 when asked by a patient if I could help her with mild cervical dysplasia. At the time, I had been in practice for less than a year but had been diligently researching the area of women’s health. Why women’s health? Simply out of necessity and the drive to help my patients; at that time, the vast majority was women and, in the mid-nineties, there were few physicians who were providing alternative women’s health care – in particular, alternative HPV treatments.
Just months prior to this patient’s request for treatment, I had come across literature describing a novel, natural-medicine-based approach for the management of abnormal pap smears. Consisting of two parts, the “indirect” portion utilized dietary and nutritional prescriptions, and the “direct” part consisted of the application of an escharotic treatment to the cervix, killing abnormal cells. Naturally I was intrigued with this non-surgical alternative HPV treatment.
Armed only with this information—because I didn’t learn this treatment in school, nor did I know anyone performing it—I used this therapy successfully and the patient had a normal pap within several months. At the time, I was publishing a monthly newsletter, so I wrote about my success with escharotic therapy as one of the alternative HPV treatments; subsequently, Holistic Chicago magazine reprinted my article and the rest is, well…history.
It’s now about twenty years later and I have successfully treated hundreds of women with cervical dysplasia and HPV. During this time, I have witnessed the suffering of too many women who feel that they have been failed by a medical system reliant on surgical intervention alone. Conventional “wisdom” maintains that there is nothing a person can do to prevent cervical dysplasia or expedite its elimination. I am here to say that this is quite the contrary. There are natural, evidence-based, effective alternative HPV treatments that eliminate the risks associated with LEEP or conization surgery.
In the nineties, prior to the liquid-based pap test that is now routine, testing for high-risk HPV was not performed, fewer biopsies were conducted, and many gynecologists were treating all cervical dysplasia—mild, moderate and severe—with the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or conization surgery. Since then, our understanding of the condition has changed, resulting in a more conservative approach of “watch and wait,” but do nothing, for mild cervical dysplasia – as endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
In this regard, we have arrived at a more sensible position that performs less LEEP and conization surgery and thus, is a good thing; however, the “watch and wait” recommendations often amount to nothing more than to sit on your hands until the condition worsens, necessitating invasive LEEP or conization surgery. Additionally, and ironically, this “watch and wait” approach also undermines the success of the future surgical intervention, as those with persistent cervical dysplasia are often more statistically likely to have recurrence after invasive intervention.
This approach is based upon the fact that many women, especially those under the age of thirty, will clear the virus and abnormal cells within a couple of years without any treatment at all. Although on the surface this conservative approach seems wise, it is in fact egregious, as tens of thousands of women each year will not clear the virus, and the cervical dysplasia will worsen. When this occurs, a woman’s doctor will now insist on surgery, claiming that to do otherwise is reckless, that cancer is going to develop, and that a hysterectomy will be required to prevent death. Well this is quite the change in attitude from that of “don’t worry about it, it should go away by itself”!
My position is to treat HPV for what it is: an infection with a virus that is known to cause cancer. As such, alternative HPV treatments to eliminate the virus should begin immediately, not with LEEP or conization surgery that does little or nothing to eliminate the virus, but rather to employ dietary changes and supplements to improve immune system function, as well as to treat directly HPV-infected and dysplastic cells. Furthermore, this treatment should be initiated as soon as HPV and cervical dysplasia are identified.
This is in direct contradiction to ACOG guidelines that recommend against treatment for mild cervical dysplasia, maintaining the defeatist attitude that everyone gets HPV, that there is no treatment for HPV, and to not worry about it because it should go away by itself. This is fine, until you are the one in which it doesn’t go away and you find yourself ten years and two invasive procedures later, still struggling with recurrent cervical dysplasia.
Conventional treatment ignores the dozens of studies demonstrating that diet and nutrition have a substantial impact on the condition. After twenty years, I have yet to meet with a new patient whose gynecologist recommended something as safe and effective as folic acid, despite the fact that we have known that folic acid deficiency contributes to cervical cancer since the 1960s.
At some point while reading this post, you are likely to ask yourself “Why didn’t my doctor explain any of this to me?” The answer is straightforward and simple. Conventional treatment and the practice guidelines that dictate treatment recommend no treatment for mild cervical dysplasia and surgical intervention for moderate and severe cervical dysplasia. That’s it. In the mind of your doctor, a detailed discussion of HPV and cervical dysplasia is pointless, a waste of his/her time, and isn’t going to change how they treat it.
Educating yourself about conventional and alternative HPV treatments and alternative cervical dysplasia treatments will allow you to make decisions based in fact rather than fear. At the end of the day, my goal is to help you to make an informed decision regarding whether you will treat or not treat, and if you do treat, to be confident and comfortable with that decision.