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  • Just wanted to share my experience with alternative treatments instead of LEEP...

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    Old 02-04-2005, 04:20 PM   #1
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    Just wanted to share my experience with alternative treatments instead of LEEP...

    Hi all,
    I'm fairly new to this board myself, and I haven't been here in a while, but as I read through various posts, I see how scared and anxious a lot of us are. I see a lot of people getting LEEPS and other procedures done, and I just wanted to share my experience so that you know that there are other options if your dysplasia is only at the "mild" stage and if you and your doctor have simply been monitoring it every 3 months.

    I have a problem w/ LEEP procedures because they could cause fertility problems later, and with so many of us being young and probably wanting to have children later, I hate to see so many people having these procedures done without trying other things and being proactive in between each 3-month follow up. While 1 LEEP or maybe even 2 may not compromise the integrity of the cervix, multiple LEEPS certainly can, and there is no guarantee that your dysplasia will not come back because LEEPs are not treating the HPV itself; LEEP procedures are merely removing the symptom of HPV, which is the cervical dysplasia. So when my doctor suggested I get a LEEP done, my biggest fear was having to have more than just one. As a last resort, of course get it done if you are nearing cancerous stages. I am not saying to just ignore your doctor if you're at that point.

    So, with that being said, if you are still in the "monitoring" stage and just going back every 3 months to monitor your "mild" dysplasia, I think trying alternative treatments is a good option for those who are scared/hesitant of LEEPS and other surgical procedures.

    I posted my situation below as a reply to another post, but then I realized that not everyone would see it b/c it was masked under another heading. So I figured I'd post it again on its own separate post.

    My high-risk HPV was diagnosed in August/Sept. of 2003. Since then, I have gone to the doctor's every 3 months for the routine PAP/COLPO/BIOPSIES. My HPV progressed each time, and in August of 2004, my OB/GYN suggested that I get a LEEP procedure b/c my diagnosis was now CIN I - CIN 11 (mild to moderate dysplasia), where as before it was "atypia", then CIN 1. I was hesitant of such an invasive procedure and I declined. My OB/GYN said she'd give me 3 more months to put off the LEEP, but if it progressed at all, I'd have to get the LEEP done. I, instead, sought treatment from a naturopathic physician about a month and a half later and frantically tried to change the course of this HPV. After only 3 weeks of being on my new regimen, it was already time again for my routine 3-month follow up, and I was curious to see if this new regimen of only 3 weeks would have helped at all b/c my naturopathic doctor said it usually takes 3 months to see any improvement. So at this point, all I was hoping for was that it hadn't worsened or else I'd have to get the LEEP done. Much to my surprise, my dysplasia IMPROVED, and there was no need for the LEEP. It went from CIN 1 - CIN 11 to now just "cervicitis", which is chronic inflammation of the cervix. That was such motivation to keep going.

    I am now a little over 3 months into the regimen, and I had another 3-month colpo/pap 2 weeks ago. There was NO need for any biopsy because the cells looked "the best they've ever looked", according to my OB/GYN. My ECC was "unremarkable" (normal), and I got my first NORMAL pap in over a year and a half. There is definitely something to alternative treatments (for me at least) AS LONG AS you are dedicated and committed to your health and to following the treatment AND making some lifestyle changes that will allow your body to heal (i.e. don't smoke, don't drink (as this lowers your immune system), drink caffeineated green tea, up your intake of greens such as broccoli (for indole 3-carbinole) and spinach, add ground flaxseed to your diet, and just overall eat lots of veggies and fruits, exercise). In addition, my naturopathic doctor told me to limit my sex to 1-2 times a week. I also went off of the birth control pill and took vaginal suppositories that she gave me. I've been taking a new multi-vitamin that the naturopathic doctor gave me, as well as some folic acid supplements, beta carotene drops and vitamin C. While everyone is different, I think that if you have mild dysplasia and have some time in between follow-ups, you may as well try and be proactive, instead of just waiting around for the dysplasia to worsen. I am glad I tried this because I was able to avoid the LEEP, at least for now, and I will continue with my healthy habits to hopefully keep this HPV at bay. I was pretty healthy to begin w/, as I've never smoked and rarely drink. For me, my biggest changes were going off the pill, limiting sex, continuing to not drink and smoke, avoiding 2nd hand smoke as well, stopped using tampons just to avoid any further irritation in that area, upping my intake of greens (eating a spinach salad daily), drinking 1-cup of green tea daily, and following the multi-vitamin and supplement program, as well as the vaginal suppositories.

    At my last visit, after my doctor told me it's "looked the best it ever has", I asked my OB/GYN why she doesn't suggest that people try alternative treatments. Her answer was that these things aren't proven, and that very few people are driven like me to try and make any differrence in their health, so even though she could tell people to change their diets, habits, etc., most people won't follow her directions, so she can't rely on this for treatment, as her job is to keep me cancer free.

    Just thought I'd share this. info. for those of you who are interested in other options. Also, a good book I found is "What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About HPV and Abnormal Pap Smears". Also, "Prescription for Herbal Healing" and "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" are books that also have some info. about cervical dysplasia. Of course see a doctor before taking any supplements.

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    Old 02-04-2005, 06:46 PM   #2
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    Re: Just wanted to share my experience with alternative treatments instead of LEEP...

    Hello there,

    Thank you for posting this... I am facing a possible diagnosis of mild dysplasia (hopefully not worse), which seems to have gone from HPV-negative ASCUS to HPV-negative LSIL in 4 months. I have been thinking a lot about what to do if my dr tells me its CIN1... I know he will want to do an invasive procedure, but I am in two minds about it: should I opt for the "watchful waiting" or go ahead and get the cells removed (which, I know, is no guarantee against recurrence)?

    In the 4 months between my ASCUS and the follow-up test, I improved my lifestyle and eating habits. The follow-up came back worse (LSIL), which, I admit, shook my confidence in the possibility of regression... I am not giving up though, I am determined to take better care of myself.

    My insurance does not cover naturopathic care... so I am trying to cope by myself. My greatest concern is: What if my condition progresses in the meantime and I end up regretting not having an invasive procedure right away?

    I am very happy that this alternative approach is working for you. Way to go!

    Do keep us posted.

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