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The main types of cervical cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the cervix. These types are based on the specific cervical tissue from which cervical cancer originates. About 80% of cervical carcinomas are squamous cancers and 20% are adenocarcinomas.

What are the Risk Factors?

  • Infection by the human papillomavirus virus (HPV)

  • Becoming sexually active at a young age and having multiple sexual partners

  • Smoking. Women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer.

  • Long term use of oral contraceptives

  • Diet Low in Fruits and Vegetables

  • Family History of cervical cancer

What are some common Signs and Symptoms?

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. For example, bleeding between cycles or post-menopausal bleeding.

  • Unusual vaginal discharge

  • Pelvic pain

  • Swelling of the legs

  • Problems urinating or having a bowel movement

  • Blood in the urine

Are there Screening Guidelines established for cervical cancer?

Yes! According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer screening should begin at age 25 through age 65.

Screening consists of:

  • Pap test every 3 years and HPV test every 5 years OR

  • Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years

What can we do for Cervical Cancer Prevention?

  • Regular testing with Pap tests and HPV testing as advised

  • HPV Vaccination as determined by patient, parents, and medical care provider

  • Practice safe sex with condom use and limit the number of sexual partners

  • Avoid cigarette use and exposure to cigarette smoke

  • Maintain a diet high in fruits and vegetables, especially those foods rich in Vitamin C, zinc, carotenoids and indole-3-carbinol (I3C)

Vitamin C rich foods: Parsley, kale, kiwi, bell peppers, citrus, strawberries, and black currants.

Carotenoid rich foods: Carrots, orange peppers, squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and sweet potato.

Zinc rich foods: Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, hemp), legumes, seafood, dark chocolate and whole grains.

Cruciferous vegetables for I3C content: Broccoli, kale, collards, brussels, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, water cress, bok choy, and radishes.

In Health,

Dr. Aminah Keats

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The liver is our largest internal organ and primary filtration system. It is responsible for hundreds of processes that occur throughout the body including cleansing the blood, metabolizing nutrients and medications, bile and hormone production, immune cell activation, storage of vitamins and iron and of course detoxification. It is important that we nourish and care for this mighty organ!

When it comes to liver detoxification, there are 2 main phases that help to neutralize and eliminate endogenous and exogenous toxins from the body. Phase I of liver detoxification converts fat soluble toxins into water soluble intermediates. Phase II then takes the intermediate metabolites, further neutralizes then eliminates them through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Phase I and II liver detoxification is quite complex and requires a large number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to support all of the involved processes.

Here are 5 things that we can do to support healthy liver detoxification:

1. Take a good quality multiple vitamin: Multiple vitamins contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that support Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification which include Vitamin C, B vitamins, Magnesium, Copper, and Iron.

2. Consume nutrients that help to increase Glutathione levels: Glutathione is often referred to as our master antioxidant and is required for Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification. Examples of foods that increase Glutathione levels include the Cruciferous family of vegetables, onion, garlic, Brazil nuts, milk thistle tea, gentian tea.

3. Enjoy foods that stimulate bile production. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that helps to push toxins from the liver into the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated through the large intestine. Foods that increase bile production include beet root, radicchio, dandelion greens, artichoke, and turmeric.

4. Incorporate Citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and oranges: These fruits are rich in vitamin C and limonene which boost the production of liver detoxifying enzymes.

5. Selenium is an essential micronutrient that has been shown to help boost the natural antioxidant enzyme levels in the liver. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, brown rice, spinach, cashews, and lentils.

In Health,

Dr. Aminah Keats

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Have you ever heard of Shinrin Yoku? Research studies show that this simple therapy can help to reduce stress, anger, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In addition, it has been shown to exhibit a positive impact on immune function, cardiovascular health, and metabolic conditions like diabetes.

The English translation of this Japanese term is ‘forest bathing’ and it means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It has also been described as connecting with nature through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It was developed in Japan in the 1980’s, where they currently have 44 accredited Shinrin-Yoku forests that offer this therapy.

A meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Biometeorology revealed that in 6 of the 8 studies analyzed, cortisol levels, a hormonal marker for stress, were significantly lower in the forest bathing group compared to the group exposed to an urban environment. In fact, some of the study participants experienced a drop in cortisol levels only after being informed that they would participate in forest bathing. I suppose this speaks to the power of visualization.

So how can we implement forest bathing into our lives to reduce stress and improve our emotional wellness?

  • Find a secluded, quiet place with lots of trees and greenery, i.e. hiking trail, backyard, or park

  • Silence or leave behind any electronic devices to avoid distractions

  • Spend at least 10 minutes in a green environment to receive the therapeutic benefit

  • Sit quietly or move slowly so that the peace of nature can be well observed and absorbed

  • Take in the sounds

  • Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the phytoncides, essential oils that impact immune function by increasing natural killer cell activity

Forest bathing can act as a great addition to anyone's self-care tool kit. Implementing healthy habits during these uncertain times provides us with greater strength and resilience!

In Health,

Dr. Aminah Keats

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