Cervical Dysplasia and Escharotic Treatment
If you’ve been told that your PAP test was abnormal and that you have cervical dysplasia, you may be feeling scared (understandably so) and wondering if there’s anything that you can do besides watching and waiting until your next PAP test and/or colposcopy. You may also have been told to get a LEEP (or you’ve already had a LEEP), and you want to consider other options and receive informed choice to determine what’s the best course of action for you.
What is Cervical Dysplasia?
- A precancerous condition of the cervix caused by HPV (human papilloma virus).
- HPV is a virus responsible for several cancers including cervical cancer.
What is a PAP test?
- PAP tests are used to screen for cervical dysplasia and cancer.
- A sample of cervical cells is collected and analyzed for the presence of normal or abnormal cells.
- An abnormal PAP result can be mild, moderate or severe. You may be told or see the terms low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), ASC-US, ASC-H, CIN 1, CIN 2, CIN 3 or adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS).
- The most common form of dysplasia is mild and it often resolves on its own, while moderate to severe dysplasia have a higher rate of progression to cancer and often require intervention.
Why consider Naturopathic treatment for cervical dysplasia?
There are often underlying factors or health issues that can make women more susceptible to HPV and cervical dysplasia. My approach is to not only treat the cervix, but to explore and address other factors and health issues that can be contributing to the development and/or continuation of abnormal cervical cells. Through your treatment plan, we utilize and enhance your body’s own ability to respond to the HPV and help heal your cervix.
What is escharotic treatment?
- A topical, non-surgical treatment to the cervix used to selectively kill HPV-infected and abnormal (dysplastic) cells while preserving healthy, non-infected cervical cells.
- It is indicated for moderate to severe cervical dysplasia.
- A typical course of treatment is weekly topical applications (of herbal and mineral preparations) for 8 – 12 weeks depending on the severity of the cervical lesion.
- An initial naturopathic consultation is required and then each escharotic session lasts approximately 45 minutes.
- This treatment is not intended to replace current screening or medical recommendations.
- It can be used as a complementary therapy to reduce occurrence of repeat positive colposcopies and further reduce the need for surgical management of cervical dysplasia.
For best results, an oral supplementation program in addition to lifestyle and nutrition changes is recommended.
Is this the same as black salve?
- No. A “black salve” treatment involves applying a paste directly onto the skin and leaving it there for days. This is highly dangerous and often leads to severe tissue destruction. The solution used in an escharotic treatment is applied onto the cervix and washed off after 90 seconds.
Does escharotic “burn” the abnormal cells off?
- No. The solution used destroys abnormal cells by inhibiting the sodium-potassium pump (which helps cells to function) and facilitating a highly selective immune response targeting HPV.
Is escharotic therapy right for everyone with cervical dysplasia?
- No. It depends on the degree of dysplasia, which is best determined by a colposcopy and on your goals, which can be discussed with your naturopathic doctor.
To see if escharotic therapy is right for you and/or to answer your questions about the escharotic treatment, book a complimentary 15 min Alignment Call with Dr. Candace. To schedule your free Alignment Call at the clinic location nearest you, click here.
Leaver, C.A., Yuan, H. & Wallen, G.R. (2018). Apoptotic Activities of Sanguinaria canadensis: Primary Human Keratinocytes, C-33A and Human Papillomavirus HeLa Cervical Cancer Lines. Integrative Medicines. 17(1), 32-37.
Swanick, S., Windstar-Hamlin K., & Zwickey, H. (2009). An Alternative Treatment for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia II, III. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 8(2), 164-167.