(Natural News) Cervical cancer strikes close to 13,000 women each year, claiming over 4,200 lives. Traditional treatment options include surgery to remove the affected tissue, radiation therapy using high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells, chemotherapy drugs to destroy the affected cells (although healthy cells are killed too), or a combination thereof. However, these treatments are invasive and have low success rates.
Now, a study by researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia has confirmed that blueberry extract not only enhances the effects of radiation therapy – one of the most popular treatments for cervical cancer – but is even more successful than radiation at destroying cancer cells.
A radiosensitizer turns out to be a potent treatment
The University of Missouri research team wanted to investigate the use of blueberry extract as a radiosensitizer – a non-toxic, natural substance which enhances the efficacy of conventional cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. The team previously had success treating prostate cancer using a polyphenol in red grapes called resveratrol as a radiosensitizer.
To their surprise, blueberry extract not only proved to be a powerful radiosensitizer, but was shown to be an even more effective cervical cancer treatment than radiation.
Study participants were divided into four groups: The first group was only given radiation therapy; a second group received only blueberry extract; a control group received no treatment at all; and a fourth group received a combination of both radiation therapy and blueberry extract.
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The radiation-only group exhibited an average decrease in cancer cells of 20 percent; the blueberry extract group had a 25 percent improvement; and the combination radiation/blueberry extract group had a whopping 70 percent decrease in cancer cell proliferation.