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Alternative Medicine: Fact or Placebo in the Treatment of HPV--An Editorial

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Being in the Western medical field for many years I have obviously been trained in this form of medicine. However, I do believe that Eastern medicine can have advantages. Eastern medicine has been using herbs and plants for centuries, many of which Western pharmaceutical companies utilize to make common medications used here in the United States and elsewhere.

Most certainly eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin and mineral supplements and other positive healthy lifestyle changes can help boost your immune system which plays a large, if not the largest, part in the body’s ability to keep the virus in a dormant (asymptomatic) state.

However, when it comes to more advanced conditions of dysplasia, whether it is CIN2/3 (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia), VIN2/3 (vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia) or AIN2/3 (anal intraepithelial neplasia)--the majority of which are caused by the human papillomavirus--the fact is, you cannot cure a virus! You can only remove the symptoms which the virus produces, for example, dysplasia and cancer.

Many may utilize these methods and find their condition has regressed. Naturally, they would attribute this to the use of these methods. But there are a percentage of these lesions which will regress on their own. There is no research to prove that these methods are what actually regresses these conditions.

Obviously this is an individual choice, but far too many people have also been duped over the years with claims of these types of "cures" for cancer or precancerous lesions having received the name "quack cures". Large numbers of cancer patients have gone out of the country, mainly to Mexico, to receive these so-called cures. The progression of HPV dysplasia to cancer is not as cut and dried as some may wish for us to believe. Statistically it can take up to 20 years, but there are those who have gone on to develop invasive cancers within months of their initial diagnosis of dysplasia.

I'm all for people trying various alternative types of medicine (which may also work purely as a placebo effect) but get extremely upset when people claim to have "cured themselves" when their HPV lesions/condition may have regressed on its own anyway. To then push these methods on others to the exclusion of Western medical treatments I believe to be irresponsible. This is potentially another person’s life you are talking about.

The more knowledge a person has, the more informed decisions they can make, but let them make those decisions themselves. After all, they are the ones having to live with the consequences.

McConnel, Thomas H., The nature of disease: pathology for the health professions, L ippincott, Williams and Wilkins
www.nature.com › Journal home › Archive › Epidemiology
www.umm.edu › ... › Complementary

Bonnie Diraimondo is a registered nurse and considered to be an expert in HPV. She is the author of the Nobel Prize winner endorsed book, Any Mother's Daughter and advocates for patients with HPV.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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