When abnormal cells are found on the cervix the condition is called dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia is considered to be a pre-cancerous condition, can occur at any age from puberty onward, and is usually found in women between the ages of 25 and 35.
Contributing Risk Factors
Lifestyle and nutritional factors that appear to play a prominent role in the etiology of cervical dysplasia
include: early age of first intercourse; multiple sexual partners; Herpes simplex
type 2 and papilloma viruses (HPV); lower socio-economic class; smoking; oral contraceptive use; and many nutritional factors. All risk factors appear to be closely related, as in other multifactorial diseases.
Diagnosis and Tests
A class III Pap should be biopsied if there is a history of recurrent abnormal Pap smears, if significant risk factors are present, or if the patient has been unresponsive to therapy. If the patient has a class IV
Pap, proper treatment of cervical dysplasia
involves first ascertaining if carcinoma
in situ is present. This can only be determined through biopsy
. Patients with carcinoma in situ, or a class V Pap, should undergo conization.
Treatment and Prevention
The basic approach is to eliminate all factors known to be associated with cervical dysplasia
and to optimize the patient's nutritional status. In particular, eliminate smoking and oral contraceptive use and supplement with nutrients mentioned below. For those patients who undergo conization, treatment is still necessary since the causes of cervical dysplasia
are not treated by this approach. Pap smears should be repeated every one to three months, according to severity.
Animal product consumption should be decreased, particularly animal fats and exogenous estrogens. High-fiber foods should be encouraged.