Friday, March 24, 2017

Women of indigenous communities prefer self screening for cancer causing virus

Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus 16 and 18 and is a preventable disease if detected early enough. But many low-income communities in Latin America do not have access to early detection programs to diagnose abnormalities. A study conducted by University of Michigan found that the low income and ingenious communities who lack access to a hospital might have another option to get screened. The studied population of Guatemalans have less than 40% of women getting screened for cervical cancer. A common method for screening is getting a pap smear but this requires traveling to a hospital multiple times which may not be feasible for Guatemalan women particularly the community of Santiago Atitlan which was focused on in the study. Thus the researchers developed an alternative testing method, a self-collection. The participants self test and send in the sample. 79% of the participants found the test comfortable and 100% said they would perform the test routinely. This was promising as self testing may be the answer to increasing screening of vulnerable populations regarding HPV.


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