Entries in Vinegar (2)


Vinegar Test May Help Reduce Deaths Caused by Cervical Cancer

Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A medical study in India found that a test utilizing an acetic acid solution -- vinegar -- could help prevent cervical cancer in women.

The study analyzed over 150,000 women between the ages of 35 and 64, who did not have prior history of cancer. The women were randomly assigned to determine whether or not they would receive biennial screening using visual inspection with acetic acid.

The women in the control group received one round of cancer education at their enrollment. Comparatively, the women who were screened biennially also received multiple rounds of cancer education. Any women in either group who were diagnosed with cervical cancer received free treatment.

Women who were screened regularly were diagnosed with cervical cancer at a rate of 26.7 per 100,000 patients. Women in the control group registered a slightly higher rate of 27.5 instances of cervical cancer per 100,000.

While the overall rate of invasive cervical cancer was similar in the two groups, researchers found biennial screening to have other advantages. Women who received regular screening saw a 31 percent drop in their cervical cancer-related death rate. In fact, women who were more frequently screened saw their overall death rate drop by seven percent, because cancer was often diagnosed earlier.

The research has limited potential in high income countries such as the United States, because screening using Pap smears has already diminished the rate of cervical cancer incidence by about 80 percent. However, in other nations, including India, large-scale Pap smear screening or HPV DNA testing is not possible. In those countries, the so-called "vinegar test" could be a major breakthrough.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Household Vinegar to Screen for Cervical Cancer?

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Vinegar is known for its versatility around the house, but now it’s gaining a reputation for a much more powerful benefit: its ability to discover precancerous lesions in the cervix and save thousands of women’s lives.

The New York Times reported that household vinegar screening has become a staple in many OB/GYN offices across Thailand and several pilot programs have been set up in developing countries.

The method is a simple one: a nurse brushes a woman’s cervix with vinegar and the solution makes precancerous spots turn white. If spots appear, they can immediately be frozen off. The cheap procedure is similar to results of a Pap smear screening, where a doctor scrapes the inner walls of the cervix, which is then examined by a pathologist.

Much like the Pap smear did in the West, the procedure, known as a visual inspection of acetic acid, is changing the face of cervical cancer in poor and middle-income countries. In the early 1900s, cervical cancer was the No. 1 cancer killer in American women, but now it comes in far behind other cancers.

“This is a life-saving procedure for many women in developing regions of the world because the precancerous lesions, which are immediate precursors to cervical cancer, can be treated before they progress,” said Dr. Mark Einstein, director of clinical research in the department of gynecologic oncology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. “The issue is the limited infrastructure and adequately trained personnel in some of these regions.”

“This been used in areas such as China, other parts of Southeast Asia and Africa where cervical cancer burden is high but access to care is low,” said Dr. Matthew Anderson, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. “Overall, rates of cervical cancer are increasing worldwide, largely due to the lack of availability of preventive health services such as pap smears, and more importantly, the type of staged interventions we use here in the US.”

Cervical cancer is seen in about 400,000 women in developing countries without Pap screening and 80,000 women per year in countries with Pap screening, said Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri-Kansas.

But the procedure does not come without caution from experts.

“Given the choice of no screening at all, and having this done once in a lifetime at the age of 35 years, doing this once in a lifetime at 35 years is preferable,” said Harper. “This is not a procedure that has any validity to repeating multiple times for a woman or doing for a young woman who is still in child-bearing years.  The sensitivity and specificity are very poor for repeat procedures.”

Anderson stressed that the procedure is not a treatment for cervical cancer, only a specific way to screen.

“It’s not the vinegar that is treating the problem and could falsely lead women to think that if they somehow douche with vinegar, they are not going to get cervix cancer,” said Anderson.  “Although I don’t think this has ever been directly tested as a treatment, I doubt nothing could be further from the truth.”

“The bottom line is cervical cancer can be prevented in most women,” said Einstein. “So any screening is better than no screening.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio