Cervical carcinoma and genital infections with human papillomavirus (HPV) are significant health problems worldwide. One variable often overlooked in these two diseases is the role of nutrition as a risk reduction strategy or a treatment method for early disease. This chapter reviews the epidemiology of HPV and cervical cancer, explores the possible cofactors that contribute to the development of diseases, and reviews the data related to nutrition. A variety of variables contributes to a woman's exposure to HPV and development of diseases. These variables include male factors, HPV type, viral load, viral persistence, immune response, and nutrition. Other than sexual behavior, only nutrition is the modifiable factor that can contribute to prevention and/or treatment of disease. The studies of nutrition as an intervention method have been limited by the focus on a single or combination of micronutrients in women with evidence of cytologic or pathologic disease. This reductionist approach is far too focused and non-reflective of the observation epidemiologic data, which suggest that a diet high in fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of HPV and pre-invasive cervical disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)