A Household Remedy for Cervical Cancer?

by Dana Demas

A fascinating New York Times article reports on the use of vinegar to screen for cervical cancer. Vinegar detects precancerous cells with more accuracy than a Pap smear – and at a far lower cost. The inexpensive liquid turns precancerous cells white. The spots are then frozen off before they become cancerous. The simple procedure, first developed by experts at Johns Hopkins, is called VIA/cryo.

The procedure has been endorsed by the World Health Organization and nurses around the world are being trained to perform it. In Thailand, where VIA/cryo has been widely implemented, none of the 6,000 women recruited for the first trial 11 years ago have developed cervical cancer. 

After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the number two cancer killer of women worldwide. Each year, it claims more than 250,000 lives, mostly in developing countries.