Curcumin’s Antiangiogenic Properties Can Help Cervical Cancer Patients
One of the most important parts of a woman’s reproductive system is the cervix. It forms a bridge between the uterus and the vagina and unfortunately, it is highly vulnerable to a rather deadly form of cancer known as cervical cancer. This type of malignancy develops in the cells of the cervix and turns them into abnormal cells that grow rapidly and turn into tumors. The tumors that appear in the cervix are usually very vascular and are known to bleed. Most cases of cervical cancer occur in the squamous cells that line the cervix and are hence known as squamous cell carcinoma. A smaller percentage of cases are caused as a result of cancerous growth in the mucus-producing glands in the cervix. These are known as adenocarcinomas. One of the most common causes of cervical cancer is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. This sexually transmitted disease increases one’s risk of developing cervical cancer in the future.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
At first cervical cancer may not trigger any symptoms. In its advanced stages though, it is known to cause:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs in between the regular menstrual cycle or after intercourse
- Pelvic heaviness and pain
- Watery, smelly vaginal discharge
- Excessive urination and pain while urinating.
What Are Antiangiogenic Substances And How Do They Work?
Aside from the usual cytotoxic cancer therapies prescribed by physicians to deal with this form of cancer, an additional antiangiogenic treatment method can help speed up the recovery process. This is because natural antiangiogenic substances usually do not affect the endothelial cells, thus ensuring that the healthy portions of the body stay healthy during the course of the treatment. Angiogenesis is a normal physiological process that is triggered by the body to create new capillaries that can feed certain portions of the body. This process occurs more often during a child’s growth spurt or when the body is going through a phase of healing. While in a normally functioning body angiogenesis is nothing to worry about, in case of cervical cancer, an accelerated rate of angiogenesis leads to the formation of blood vessels that feed the cancerous growth allowing it to thrive. In cervical cancer patients, there are numerous biological molecules that accelerate the angiogenesis process. Some of these are EGFR, COX-2, and VEGF. Out of these VEGF is the most prominent one. It promotes the movement of endothelial progenitor cells. COX-2 suppresses the body’s ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.
Out of all the natural antiangiogenic substances, curcumin is the most potent one. Extracted from the spice turmeric, curcumin is a polyphenolic pigment that possesses a rich cache of therapeutic properties.
In the case of cervical cancer too, curcumin can help contain tumor growth by doing the following:
- The human papillomavirus is known to heighten the production of VEGF by increasing the E6 oncoprotein level. Also, this virus pulls down the level of expression of antiangiogenic factors like TSP-1 and TSP-2. A daily dose of curcumin can help reduce the quantity of VEGF produced and hence minimize the rate of angiogenesis.
- Curcumin also has the ability to reduce the production of COX-2, a molecule that hampers the effectiveness of the body’s immune system, stops the body from inducing apoptosis in cancer cells, and makes malignant cells much more invasive.
- Curcumin can inhibit the production of EGFR too which is responsible for worsening the prognosis of cervical cancer patients by making their tumors much more aggressive and prone to metastasis.
While choosing a curcumin supplement to battle cervical cancer it is important to keep the following in mind:
- The curcumin used to make the supplement should come from a wild strand.
- The curcumin used should not be genetically modified.
- The curcumin in the supplement should have been cultivated organically.
- The curcumin in the supplement should not be treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- The curcumin in the supplement should be free of chemical residue and adulterants.
Cervikil, a curcumin enriched supplement created by Bagdara Farms has all the above properties and is therefore perfect for cervical cancer patients.