Will Sacramento women be using plain food-grade household white vinegar to find out whether they have cervical cancer? When will VIA/cryo for visualization of the cervix with acetic acid (vinegar) and treatment with cryotherapy come to Sacramento? This inexpensive, simple treatment for pre-cancer of the cervix is similar to the treatment you get when you ask your doctor to freeze off a wart, but vinegar plays a part by turning the precancerous spots on your cervix a white color where those cells can be seen and frozen off.
The procedure is to brush household vinegar on a woman’s cervix. The precancerous spots turn white. Then the spots are frozen off with a metal probe cooled by a tank of carbon dioxide, available, according to the NY Times article, “Fighting Cervical Cancer With Vinegar and Ingenuity,” from any Coca-Cola bottling plant. Vinegar can help fight cervical cancer by turning a small cancerous or pre-cancerous spot white in color. At that point, a nurse or doctor uses an instrument to freeze the tiny white spot, and the cancer falls off. See the NY Times September 26, 2011 article, “Fighting Cervical Cancer With Vinegar and Ingenuity.” The article also appeared in the September 27, 2011 Sacramento Bee.
The idea of using vinegar to turn cervical cancer spots white began in some of the poorer countries of the world where cervical cancer is the number one killer of women. Every year, more than 250,000 women die of cervical cancer, nearly 85 percent of them in poor and middle-income countries. Decades ago, it killed more American women than any other cancer; now it lags far behind cancers of the lung, breast, colon and skin. Nurses using the new procedure, developed by experts at the Johns Hopkins medical school in the 1990s and endorsed last year by the World Health Organization.
The precancerous spots that turn white when vinegar is brushed on them resemble warts and are caused by the human papillomavirus. A nurse or doctor freezes off the white spots using cryotherapy. After vinegar started being used in some of the poorer third world countries where women work in isolated villages far from doctors, the risk of developing cervical cancer has dropped by 65 percent, according to studies by the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention, a coalition of international health organizations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
If you’re interested in the procedure, it’s called VIA/cryo for visualization of the cervix with acetic acid (vinegar) and treatment with cryotherapy, can be done by a nurse, and only one visit is needed to detect and kill an incipient cancer. The country that has adapted this procedure and is using it the most in the world is Thailand. But more than 20 other countries, including Ghana and Zimbabwe, have done pilot projects.
The vinegar brush-off which turns the precancerous spots white which are then frozen off doesn’t cause bleeding like the old method did. The clinical trials of using vinegar to spot pre-cancer and then freezing off the cancer as if it were a wart is working. Of the 6,000 women recruited 11 years ago for the first trial in Thailand, not a single one has developed full-blown cancer. Will it be used in America, or here in Sacramento? VIA/cryo was pioneered in the 1990s simultaneously by Dr. Paul D. Blumenthal, an American gynecologist working in Africa, and Dr. Rengaswamy Sankaranarayanan in India.
Freezing off lesions is routine in gynecology and dermatology; the challenge was making it cheap and easy. Liquid nitrogen is hard to get, but carbon dioxide is readily available. If your doctor finds a precancerous spot, will household vinegar turn that spot white? And if that happens, will your dermatologist, your gynecologist, or a trained nurse freeze off the spot? Or will you have to undergo all types of surgery, if you’re living here in Sacramento and not in Thailand, Ghana, or Zimbabwe?