August 7, 2007
Simple Cervical Cancer Detection Method
According to a new study published in the Lancet, there is a simple and cheap method to detect early signs of cervical cancer. The method involves nothing more than vinegar, gauze, a speculum, and a halogen lamp.
The visual screening test is done by a nurse or trained health care worker who washes a woman's cervix with vinegar and gauze using a speculum to hold it open. After one minute, any pre-cancerous lesions turn very white and can be seen with the naked eye under a halogen lamp.
This detection method may save many lives in the developing world where Pap smears are not affordable.
Experts think that the simple, inexpensive technique could be rolled out across the developing world relatively easily. Pilot projects are already under way in a handful of countries in Asia and Africa.