A simple and inexpensive test is changing the lives of women in India, particularly in early cancer detection.
According to Yahoo! Health, a recent study reveals the breakthrough of a vinegar cancer test that has reduced the death rates caused by cervical cancer by one third. The scope of the study involved women living in rural India, especially those who cannot afford HPV tests and pap smears.
Dr. Ted Trimble, lead researcher from the US National Cancer Institute, shared the good news along with fellow doctors during a cancer conference in Chicago. “That’s amazing. That’s remarkable. It’s a very exciting result,” Dr. Trimble said. Doctors are hopeful that this cheaper alternative to cervical cancer tests can save thousands of women living in developing countries.
Aside from being inexpensive, the new test is also simple to do. Training takes about two weeks and it doesn’t involve the use of complicated medical tools and equipment. The test involves swabbing of the cervix with vinegar at low concentration. According to the study, the vinegar solution will turn the cancer cells into another color.
Cervical cancer is considered a non-issue for women living in the slums, not because they don’t care, but because they cannot afford the tests. Usha Devi, a participant in the study, said the affordable test saved her life. Despite having already given birth to four kids, she has never been subjected to a gynecological exam. It was only through the study that she learned that the heavy bleeding that she has been suffering for years was due to cervical cancer.
The proponents of the research sponsored her surgery to remove her cervix and uterus. For Devi, the study saved her life.