Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vinegar to the Rescue

The kind of health news I love to read: A study in India has found that a simple, cheap and safe substance—vinegar—illuminates cervical cancer, thus saving suffering and lives.

According to AP, "India has nearly one-third of the world's cases of cervical cancer — more than 140,000 each year." Where pap smears cost money and lab access, the vinegar diagnostic requires neither. AP reports, "This study tried a test that costs very little and can be done by local people with just two weeks of training and no fancy lab equipment. They swab the cervix with diluted vinegar, which can make abnormal cells briefly change color.

'This low-tech visual exam cut the cervical cancer death rate by 31 percent, the study found. It could prevent 22,000 deaths in India and 72,600 worldwide each year, researchers estimate.

We can only hope for more innovative discoveries of effective, safe, cheap approaches to our health care needs.

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