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India Study Reports Vinegar Capable of Detecting Cervical Cancer

Update Date: Jun 03, 2013 10:22 AM EDT

According to the SEER (Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results) statistics, in 2013, about 12, 340 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,030 of them will die from the disease. Cervical cancer, which is when the tissues of the cervix get infected with cancer, is diagnosed via tissue tests and cervical exams. Although this type of cancer can be detected with regular visits to the gynecologist, in other countries, such as India, frequent doctor appointments might not be as accessible. In India, cervical cancer is one of the leading cancer-related deaths for women, which is why detecting the cancer and treating it immediately is very important. In a new study, researchers discovered that a simple vinegar test could potentially help cut down the rates of deaths from this cancer.

"Many women refused to get screened. Some of them died of cancer later," one of the participants of the study, Usha Devi, said via Arab News. "Now I feel everyone should get tested. I got my life back because of these tests."

In this study, doctors created a simple and cheap test that could be taught in two weeks and did not require any specific medical training. This life-saving test requires any person to help swab the cervix of another person with diluted vinegar. If there are any abnormal cells, the diluted vinegar will help change the color, indicating to the patient that more care might be needed. After calculations, the study found that this test slashed the cervical cancer rate of death by 31 percent. The easy test could potentially prevent 22,000 deaths in India alone and 72,600 in the global community.

"That's amazing. That's remarkable. It's a very exciting result," Dr. Ted Trimble from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said. The institute was the main sponsor of this study.

The study was headed by Dr. Surendra Shastri of Tata Memorial Hospital located in Mumbai. The study started in 1998 when the researchers recruited 75,360 women who would be screened with the vinegar test every two years and another 76,178 women that acted as the control group. The study promised both groups of women free cancer care if it developed during the study period. The researchers reported that although a lot of women were not happy with the procedure, such as disrobing, the results revealed that this test could help thousands of women in the end.

Over this past Sunday, the doctors of this study presented their findings at a cancer conference in Chicago, IL.

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