Wednesday February 20, 2019

New Smartphone App Screens Women for Cervical Cancer in Tanzania

Every year more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer in Tanzania

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Oncology department of a hospital in Kenya, VOA

November 13, 2016: According to United States Centers for Illness Control, in developing countries, a woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer among women. This is a tragedy as cervical cancer is preventable as well as treatable.

This situation usually occurs where routine gynecological tests are not commonly available. Every year more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer in Tanzania, despite the disease being preventable. The Precancerous lesions can be detected in time and removed.

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A new smartphone application known as cervical is created in Tanzania to help the women of Tanzania fight against cervical cancer.

Dr. James Edward said, “When I take the image, I can zoom it and see it in good view instead of going there to the cervix  but when you take the image you can zoom in and see if there is a lesion.”

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For the women living in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, the burden of cervical cancer is all too familiar. A patient Frida Mtale said, “One day my aunt started to see a little liquid like she was menstruating. She went to the doctor. She was told it was cancer. “

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Karen Yeats leads the Kilimanjaro Cervical Cancer Screening Project in Tanzania. The team uses Smartphone to screen women for cervical cancer. Non-physician health workers use their phones to take a photo of the cervix which is then sent to an expert in the country. If cancerous areas are present, the expert transmits back the treatment instructions within minutes. The quick diagnosis is a boon to women in Tanzania.

The project is a government sponsored program, funded as Canada’s Grand Challenges. The project supports bold ideas in Science, business, and technology.

Health workers who aren’t able to make a diagnosis on their own use the app to send the photos to an expert in the country who receives a notification and in just a few minutes the expert helps the worker on the scene make a diagnosis. They have already trained over 100 health providers and screened thousands of women. Dr. Karen Yeats said, “We predict that by the end of the year we will probably be up around 7 to 8 thousand.” Because the Technology is mobile, she says her team will be able to reach even the remote parts of the country.

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The team has already received numerous requests to export the technology to other African countries.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

Next Story

Smoking Can Damage Immunity of Skin Cancer Patients, Says Study

For the study, the team included more than 700 melanoma patients

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Smoking may damage the immune response against melanoma and limit patients’ survival chances, according to a new study.

 Melanoma patients with a history of smoking cigarettes are 40 per cent less likely to survive their skin cancer than people who have never smoked within a decade after their diagnosis, according to the study, published in the journal Cancer Research.

Other researchers have reported that smoking have adverse effects on the immune system, but it is not yet known which chemicals are responsible for this.

“The immune system is like an orchestra, with multiple pieces. This research suggests that smoking might disrupt how it works together in tune, allowing the musicians to continue playing but possibly in a more disorganised way,” said lead researcher Julia Newton-Bishop, Professor at the University of Leeds.

Smoking could directly affect how smokers’ bodies deal with the melanoma cancer cells, said the researchers.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

“Overall, these results show that smoking could limit the chances of melanoma patients’ survival so it’s especially important that they are given all the support possible to give up smoking for good,” said Julie Sharp, head at Cancer Research UK in Britain.

Also Read- Is Mammography Test to Spot Breast Cancer Necessary At All? Find out Here

This is the reason why people should try to give up smoking, particularly those who have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, suggested the researchers.

For the study, the team included more than 700 melanoma patients. (IANS)