Researchers from University of Cape Town, South Africa have found effective results using Two screen and treat cervical cancer prevention programs in women with high-risk for cervical cancer using low resource settings exclusively for developing and under developed countries. The study results showed that the test and treat program was very much effective in considerably reducing the prevalence of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions.
Cervical cancer in women causes more than 233,000 deaths worldwide and more than 471,000 cases are diagnosed positive for cervical cancer each year, of which 80 percent occur in less-developed countries. The lifetime risk of a woman developing cervical cancer in a low-resource setting is approximately 2 percent to 4 percent.
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Cytological testing for cervical cancer is useful tool in diagnosing cervical cancer in women but due to the high cost of the test it has become less affordable by the economically weaker section. To overcome this and give a better identification and treatment process, Professor Lynette Denny, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the safety and efficacy of two screen-and-treat approaches for cervical cancer prevention.
This Two screen and treat procedure does not require complex health infrastructure required by traditional approaches. The testing process uses Non-cytological techniques such as testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) DNA testing and/or Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA). The testing procedure is followed by treatment of lesions using Cryotherapy using nitrous oxide on lesions to freeze the lesion at low therapy. The study was conducted in 6,555 non-pregnant women, aged 35 to 65 years, and was conducted between June 2000 and December 2002 at ambulatory women's health clinics in Khayelitsha, South Africa. All patients were screened using human Papilloma virus (HPV) DNA testing and visual inspection with VIA.
The researchers found that using Two screen and treat procedures the incidence of cervical cancers and cervical lesions was diagnosed early and it offers a great option of treating the cancer lesions by using Cryotherapy effectively even in economically weaker section using reduced hospital equipments.
Professor Lynette Denny and his team said, This trial has shown that screening and treating women based on the results of two alternative screening tests to cytology, HPV DNA testing and VIA, is safe and has a significant impact on the prevalence of CIN 2+ among women participating in such a program. In low-resource settings, screen-and-treat approaches may be able to reduce the risk of a common and easily preventable cancer in women.
Paul D. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.H., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore said, When faced with a challenge, identifying and seizing an opportunity can be the first step toward triumph. That is what public health approaches are often about. An important lesson from the work of Brewster et al and Denny et al is that whether in southern California or southern Africa, safe, acceptable, effective, and pragmatic public health approaches to cervical cancer prevention can be designed
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