Human papillomavirus (HPV) is present in most sexually active women. Their lifetime risk of acquiring genital HPV is 80%.
For the most part, HPV infections do not cause any health problems and are cleared by the human body. Certain strains, however, are more virulent and may cause cervical cancer.
HPV can be detected up to 99% of cervical cancer biopsies worldwide.
Currently, there are no medications that treat the virus. The only option for prevention (though controversial) is the HPV vaccine, which can be administered to people under the age of 26.
Fortunately, new hope may be found in AHCC (active hexose correlated compound), a compound found in mushrooms. AHCC may help to eradicate the HPV virus and even treat cervical cancer, according to the results of a recent study.
Scientists in Texas treated cervical cancer cells with AHCC and incubated them for 72 hours. In addition, in a separate part of the study, they administered AHCC to mice with and without the HPV infection.
They found that AHCC totally eradicated the virus within 90 days and reduced tumor growth in vivo and in vitro. The research was presented at the Society of Gynecological Oncology 45th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.
To date, no studies have examined the effect of AHCC on cervical cancer in humans. A pilot study is on its way.
AHCC works by increasing the body’s immune response. It stimulates natural killer cell activity — the cells responsible for seeking out and destroying tumor cells.
In other studies, AHCC has been shown to have anti-cancer effects, boosting the effectiveness of chemotherapy and even increasing cancer survival rates among liver cancer patients.
AHCC is well tolerated, with no reported adverse effects.
Apart from strengthening your body with supplementation, it is important that women take precautions in screening for cervical cancer.
An annual Pap smear test is the best way to screen for the disease. When caught early, nearly 100% of cases are treatable. Otherwise, there is no other way to detect cervical cancer, since it’s usually asymptomatic.