Results of the study, published in the March 8 issue of The Lancet, found that same-day testing and treatment led to high rates of compliance with recommended treatment compared with the more conventional practice of diagnostic testing and treatment in separate visits. Of 756 women treated the same day as diagnosis of precancerous lesions, 83.2 percent returned for a follow-up visit, and 93.5 percent returned for a checkup one year later.
"The vast majority of women said they were highly satisfied with this 'one-stop' approach, making it more likely they will continue with regular checkups and stay healthy," says Paul D. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.H., an author of the paper and an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins.
Local nurses used vinegar to wipe the cervix and then visually inspect it for lesions that turn white when exposed to the solution. They then offered immediate treatment to women with positive tests (possible precancerous lesions).
Treatment consisted of cryotherapy, using compressed carbon dioxide to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. Women with more advanced lesions, suspected cancers or other problems were referred to specialists. A year later, 94 percent of the women treated had no signs of any precancerous lesions. In addition, nearly 98 percent had recommended testing to others and nearly 95 percent said the treatment was equal to or better than expected.
Simple, low-technology testing and treatment methods such as these are urgently needed, says study author and epidemiologist Lynne Gaffikin, Dr.P.H., of Johns Hopkins. Only 5 percent of women in developing countries are likely to have been screened at any point in the previous five yea
Contact: Karen Blum
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions