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Low-Cost Screening for Cervical Cancer Developed By an Indian Doctor
The researchers at Tata Memorial Centre, a premier cancer treatment institute in the country, have found an inexpensive way to screen for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer among women.
The low- cost screening involves a procedure of involves use of vinegar. It is believed that the screening will help in cutting down the cancer cases by 31 percent in the country. Cervical cancer is a cancer of the uterine cervix is the most common cancer affecting Indian women with an estimated 142,000 new cases coming to light every year and 77,000 women dying of the disease.
India accounts for one-third of the global burden of cervical cancer. The disease is caused by infection with a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV) and is related to poor genital hygiene.

The study involved 150,000 women in the age group of 35-65, living in relatively low socio-economic settings in 20 clusters in Mumbai suburbs. The researchers divided the participants into two groups - 75,000 women living in 10 clusters were allocated to the `screening group' while another 75,000 women were allocated to the `control group'.

The results showed that VIA screening is safe, feasible and acceptable to Indian women, as there was an overwhelming participation. VIA test can prevent 22,000 cervical cancer deaths in India and 72,600 deaths in resource-poor countries world-wide annually. The results of the study were announced at the annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology, underway in Chicago.