Cervical Cancer Screening with Vinegar

Last Update: August 06, 2014

A study out of Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India has found that a simple screening technique, the Visual Inspection with acetic acid/vinegar (VIA), is highly affective in diagnosing cervical cancer. The testing was done in the Mumbai slums with a large population (n=76,178). With trained health workers (1 month of training), the screenings were conducted at intervals of 2 years over a 12 year period. They found that there was a 31% drop in mortality related to cervical cancer. The procedure for VIA is simply application of 4% vinegar followed by visual assessment within a minute.

VIA is recommended as a routine screening, especially in resource-scarce settings. Currently, the Indian government is expanding trainings for routine VIA across Maharashtra state and nationally.