Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in women in India and one of the leading causes of deaths among women suffering from cancer in the developing world.
Cervical cancer starts in a woman’s cervix, the lower, narrow part of the uterus. The uterus holds the growing fetus during pregnancy. The cervix connects the lower part of the uterus to the vagina and forms the birth canal.
The below factors can raise a person’s risk of developing cervical cancer:
(a) Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: – The vital risk factor for cervical cancer is infection with HPV and it is passed from one person to another during sexual intercourse.
(b) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection: – Infection with HIV is also high risk factor for cervical cancer and when a woman is infected with HIV her immune system is less capable to fight with early stage of cancers.
(c) Herpes: – Women who have genital herpes are at greater risk for developing cervical cancer.
(d) Smoking: – Women who smoke are about twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as women who do not smoke at all.
(e) Age: – The risk goes up between the late teen age and mid 30s age group. Women over 40 years of age remain at risk and need to continue having regular Pap tests.
(f) Race: – Cervical cancer is more common among blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians.
(g) Exposure to diethylstilbestrol: – Women whose mothers were given this drug during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage are also at high risk for cervical cancer.
Signs & Symptoms: –
(i) Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods.
(ii) Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.
(iii) Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination.
(iv) Pain during intercourse.
(v) Bleeding after menopause.
(vi) Increased vaginal discharge.
Ayurvedic treatment and Ayurveda Herbs used in the cure of uterine cervix:-
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine that makes use of herbs existing in the nature and formulates herbal remedies using the inherent power present in these herbs. The Ayurvedic treatment of cervical cancer aims at treating the cancer, its symptoms, preventing the spread of the cancer, reducing the side effects of conventional treatment and prolonging survival as well. Medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu, Kanchnar-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Chandraprabha-Vati, Ashokarishta, Ashoka (Saraca indica), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Udumbar (Ficus glomerata), Ulatkambal (Abroma augusta), Shalmali (Bombax malabaricum), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica), and Tandullya (Amaranthus polygamus) are mainly used to treat the local tumor. In addition, medicated douches containing Triphala (Three fruits) and Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) are used to treat local ulceration.
Medicines which act on the ‘Rasa’, ‘Rakta’ and ‘Mansa’ dhatus (tissues) are very useful in this condition. These medicines include Indrayav (Holharrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha (Cissampelos pareira),Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Nimba (Azadirachta indica) and Triphala. Medicines like Kanchnar-Guggulu and Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha are used to prevent the spread of the disease to other body parts. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Nagbala (Sida humilis), Suvarna-Bhasma and Heerak-Bhasma are used to improve the immunity of the body. To prevent side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, medicines like Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Kamadudha-Ras, Shankh-Vati, Laghu-Sutshekhar-Ras and Vishwa (Zinziber officinale) are mainly used.
Thus, Ayurvedic medicines can be used as extra therapy to conventional treatment in order to improve the overall survival of the patient. It is vital to note that all such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of an Oncologist.
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