Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One-visit Screening, Prevention For Cervical Cancer Holds Promise

Date:
April 5, 2007
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
A method of screening women in Ghana for early signs of cervical cancer and providing preventive treatment at the same visit appears to be safe, acceptable to women and feasible.

A method of screening women in Ghana for early signs of cervical cancer and providing preventive treatment at the same visit appears to be safe, acceptable to women and feasible, according to a study by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

If this technique can be scaled up effectively, it could help prevent one of the leading causes of cancer death in women in developing countries, said Paul Blumenthal, MD, MPH, acting professor of obstetrics and gynecology. He is the lead author of the study, which will be published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In developed countries such as the United States, women receive a regular Pap smear to detect early signs of cervical cancer. Those with abnormalities on the Pap smear are called back for follow-up treatment. Although this approach is effective at detecting and eradicating precancerous abnormalities, it requires a degree of infrastructure that isn't often available in developing countries.

"Pap smears require equipment such as slides, reagents and even a working microscope, which might not be available in developing countries," said Blumenthal. He carried out this work while on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with the university's international health affiliate JHPIEGO and the Ghana Cervicare Group.

Almost 80 percent of the 490,000 cases of cervical cancer reported worldwide each year are in developing countries, such as Ghana. Each year, more than 250,000 women die from the disease. According to Blumenthal, for women in developing countries who survive childbearing, cervical cancer is often the next potentially fatal reproductive health issue they face.

The technique used in this study is one that has been known for many years. A doctor or nurse applies acetic acid, essentially vinegar, to a woman's cervix. Precancerous areas stand out as white regions against the pink, normal cervical tissue. The doctor or nurse can then freeze away the white regions using a technique called cryotherapy, which involves a commonly available gas, effectively eliminating the abnormality and preventing future cancer. This single-visit procedure eliminates the need to call women back to the clinic for repeat testing and requires less infrastructure than other methods of detecting cervical cancer.

In this study, the researchers recruited women in the Ghanaian city of Accra. They found that of the 3,665 women screened, 90 percent said they were satisfied with the procedure. Of the 427 women who had abnormalities removed, most experienced some pain, but only 5.6 percent of women came back to be seen for a problem after the therapy. One year later, only 2.6 percent of the women they treated had additional abnormalities turn up.

Blumenthal said these results are a good indication that a one-visit approach to cervical cancer screening could be effective in Ghana's urban areas. However, this study didn't address whether the technique can be effective in a rural setting or whether the government would be able to scale up the procedure to treat women nationwide. A follow-up study is under way in rural Ghana. Blumenthal also said that related projects by the World Health Organization are being conducted in several other African nations.

If the technique proves widely effective, the governments will need both financial and logistical help scaling up the procedure to make it generally available. "The real needs are the start-up costs, getting the projects off the ground," he said.

The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "One-visit Screening, Prevention For Cervical Cancer Holds Promise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101658.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2007, April 5). One-visit Screening, Prevention For Cervical Cancer Holds Promise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101658.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "One-visit Screening, Prevention For Cervical Cancer Holds Promise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101658.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins