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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cheap as Vinegar

Not to mention the cotton gauze.

LONDON (AP) -- A cheap method to detect cervical cancer using vinegar, cotton gauze and a bright light could save millions of women in the developing world, experts reported Friday.

The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found a simple visual screening test to look for the early signs of cervical cancer reduced the numbers of cases by a quarter.

"This is a landmark study," said Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, medical director at JHPIEGO, an international health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that has worked on preventing cervical cancer in poor countries. Sanghvi was unconnected to the Lancet study.

Cervical cancer is largely preventable. It causes about 250,000 deaths every year and is the second-most common cancer in women. Nearly 80 percent of those women are in the developing world.

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.
While this method may be used in developing world, I hardly expect it to replace pap smears done by OB/GYNs here in the United States. Still anything that lessens the amount of women who die from cancer is good news.

Reminder- I'm a thirteen year Malignant melanoma survivor.

There were 167 cases and 83 cervical cancer deaths in the women who received the screening, compared with 158 cases and 92 deaths in those who didn't. That represents 25 percent less cervical cancer and a 35 percent lower death rate among those screened.
The stats as AP reporter Maria Cheng reports, don't make any mathematical sense. That's not 25% less cancer but about a 6% increase and not a 35% lower death rate but rather 10%

If I had to guess, the number of cases are wrong in the article. It wouldn't be the first time AP got simple facts wrong.

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