Most education on cervical cancer prevention focuses on the dangers of human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that is the main cause of the cancer. However, studies have shown that a low intake of fruits and vegetables more than doubles a woman's risk of developing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia when she has a high amounts of HPV. This condition is a precursor to cervical cancer.
Lack of certain micronutrients, such as carotenoids, folate and vitamins C and E, may hamper the body's ability to clear a HPV infection, research suggests. Cervical cancer is the third most common gynaecologic cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 14,000 people will be diagnosed with it in 2022. And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is responsible for up to 99.7% of cases.
Experts say there is a clear link between diet and nutrition, the progression of HPV infection, and the subsequent development of cervical cancer. A Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower risk of HPV infection and cervical cancer. It focuses on consuming fruits, vegetables, beans, healthy fats and fish.
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