Cheap cancer test could save thousands of women August 5, 2007Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer.
A cheap method to detect cervical cancer using vinegar and a halogen lamp could prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths in the developing world every year, researchers said today.A seven-year study of the screening test in India found it reduced the number of cervical cancer cases by a quarter and cut the number of deaths from the disease by more than a third (35%).
The study, published in the Lancet, found the screening programme produced results on a par with more expensive methods used in the developed world.
More than 250,000 women worldwide die from cervical cancer each year, with almost 80% of fatalities occurring in the developing world.
The cheap test is performed by a nurse, or trained health care worker, who washes a woman’s cervix with acetic acid (a chemical compound in vinegar) and gauze. After one minute, any pre-cancerous lesions turn very white and can be seen with the naked eye under a halogen lamp.
Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in France, and the Institute of Medical Sciences in Tamil Nadu, India, used the technique to screen 49,311 women aged 30 to 59 in the Dindigul district of India, between 2000 and 2003. Women found to have pre-cancerous lesions received immediate treatment, which involved freezing the affected area to destroy the abnormal tissue. Read More….