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.
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.
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.
Lifestyle and nutritional factors that appear to play a prominent role in the etiology of cervical dysplasia and carcinoma 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.
Animal product consumption should be decreased, particularly animal fats and exogenous estrogens. High-fiber foods should be encouraged.