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1-visit Screening, Prevention for Cervical Cancer Holds Promise

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.

Source-Eurekalert
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