Vinegar Can Detect Cervical Cancer
Recent research indicates that vinegar can detect cancerous cells in the cervix by turning potentially cancerous tissue white, which allows an immediate visual diagnosis.
While more research is needed, such a technique might pave the way for developing countries to introduce a cheap and effective screening program for cervical cancers.
Pap smears are traditionally used to detect cervical cancer, but are not affordable for developing countries. One drawback to the vinegar test is the possibility of false-positive results, but this also occurs with pap smears.
Research is currently underway in South Africa to determine if over use of this technique has adverse affects.
In related news, doctors from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the United States and a prominent hospital in Thailand are also utilizing vinegar in a simple, one-visit procedure to detect and treat cervical cancers. The procedure involves washing the cervix with vinegar, viewing it with a flashlight and freezing any white spots (possible cancer cells) with liquid carbon dioxide.
A recent study using this technique was published in The Lancet and showed positive results. A parallel study in Ghana is underway and the results to date are also positive.
While there is the possibility of over-treatment, there are no health risks of over-treatment, and the procedure may save women in third world countries from cancer.
BBC News On-Line, 3/19/2003; The New York Times.com, 3/25/03
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