New Treatments For Cervical Cancer
A forensic researcher, Lindy Hess was 32 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2005. Hess used her investigative techniques to determine what treatment would work for her. And, like half a million other Americans, she traveled outside the country for a natural approach to cancer care. More than 13,000 people leave the US every day to get medical treatment, and most of them travel to Mexico, Germany and the Philippines.
Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, the opening at the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common cancer among women in the US. This slow growing cancer often begins with precancerous cells called dysplasia, which can be detected by a pap smear. If not treated, it can spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs and liver.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 US women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010, and 4,210 died of the disease. The 5 year survival rate if discovered and treated early is 90.9%, but once it spreads, survival drops to 18.7%.
Hess had no symptoms, but a routine Pap smear found cancer cells on her cervix. More advanced cervical cancer may cause back, leg or pelvic pain, bone fractures, fatigue, heavy bleeding, leaking urine or feces from the vagina, loss of appetite and weight loss or a single swollen leg.
Risk factors include early sexual activity or many partners who indulge in unsafe sexual practices, a mother who took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the 60s to prevent miscarriage during pregnancy, smoking and a weak immune system. Most cervical cancers can be prevented by getting regular pap smears, practicing safe sex and not smoking.
Early stage cervical cancer can often be treated by cryotherapy to freeze the abnormal cells. Laser surgery can destroy cancer cells with light, and LEEP procedures use electricity to remove cancer cells. Unfortunately, Hess’s cancer had begun to spread. After a cone biopsy, CT scans and intravenous pyelogram, Hess was referred to an oncologist, who recommended a radical hysterectomy. During this procedure, surgeons would remove her uterus and surrounding tissue, lymph nodes and her upper vagina. Some patients undergo a pelvic exenteration – removing all organs in the pelvis, including the bladder and rectum. Both surgeries are followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
Hess had watched a close friend battle breast cancer, and she saw firsthand the side effects of conventional treatment. Her friend lost her hair, vomited constantly and when she died looked like a skeleton. However, she researched traditional treatments, their effectiveness and side effects, and decided she wanted none of that.
In her research, she learned about Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer, approved by the FDA in 2007. Hailed as the end of this disease, some states, like Texas and Virginia, mandated that all school age girls from 9 up must take the vaccine. According to the National Institutes of Health, between June 2006 and April 2008, there were almost 8,000 adverse reactions from the vaccine in the US, and 1300 girls in the UK had negative reactions, according to the Medicines & Health Care Products Regulatory Agency there. Negative reactions include balance difficulties, fainting, paralysis, loss of vision, blood clots, seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, miscarriages, hospitalization and death. After a vehement uproar from parents and health care providers, the mandates were lifted everywhere except Washington DC. Some parents are vaccinating their daughters anyway, and a similar vaccine for boys is in the works.
Hess researched many home remedies. There were teas, drops, castor oil packs, supplements, wheat grass enemas and special diets that all claimed to cure cancer. Hess was skeptical of flashy websites and magic teas. While her oncologist urged her to schedule surgery, Hess was not yet willing to give up the possibility of having children. Her chiropractor told her about a small clinic in Germany that offered unique treatments for cervical cancer.
Hess researched the treatments offered at the clinic. Hyperthermia was first introduced in Germany over 20 years ago. This treatment kills cancer cells by heating them from the inside out, without harming normal cells. Many of the therapies used natural ingredients, like Iscador, made from mistletoe, and IVs from natural sources. She asked to speak to a former patient with the same diagnosis, and was able to chat with someone from the states who had visited the clinic and was treated successfully.
Hess said she felt she made an informed decision, and was very impressed from the minute she entered the clinic. "Everyone was so kind and caring, and it felt like I was in a luxury resort. The mountain views were spectacular, and we walked in the meadows and felt so at peace. I never had any pain or side effects from the treatments. And now that I am cancer free, I cherish every moment with my family and friends. To anyone considering conventional treatment, I'd say - do yourself a favor and look into German treatments."
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