Monday February 26, 2018

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
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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

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

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All Women Can Be Screened For Cancer!

Screening all women over 30 years age for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations can be cost effective, says a study

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The new approach, showed that it is cost-effective, and as a result can ensure that more women can take preventative action to reduce their risk or undertake regular screening. Pixabay
  • A study found out screening all women for cancer can be cost effective
  • The study was led by an Indian-origin researcher
  • The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Screening all women over 30 years age for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations can be cost effective and could also prevent more of these cancers than just screening those at genetic high-risk, suggests a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

The most well-known breast and ovarian cancer causing genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2, and women carrying either of the gene mutation have approximately a 17-44 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer and a 69-72 per cent chance of developing breast cancer over their lifetime.

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Conversely, for women who do not carry these mutations, the risk is two per cent for ovarian cancer and 12 per cent for breast cancer over their life time. Pixabay
Conversely, for women who do not carry these mutations, the risk is two per cent for ovarian cancer and 12 per cent for breast cancer over their life time. Pixabay

The current clinical approach to genetic testing is based on having a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

The new approach, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that it is cost-effective, and as a result can ensure that more women can take preventative action to reduce their risk or undertake regular screening and thus can provide huge new opportunities for cancer prevention and changes in the way how cancer genetic testing is delivered.

“Our findings support the concept of broadening genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer genes across the entire population, beyond just the current criteria-based approach,” said Ranjit Manchanda, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, at the Queen Mary University of London.

According to the World Health Organization, out of the 8.8 million deaths overall cancer deaths worldwide in 2015, breast cancer accounted for 571,000 deaths. Pixabay
According to the World Health Organization, out of the 8.8 million deaths overall cancer deaths worldwide in 2015, breast cancer accounted for 571,000 deaths. Pixabay

“Our analysis shows that population testing is the most cost-effective strategy and can have important implications given the effective options that are available for ovarian and breast cancer risk management and prevention for women at increased risk,” added Rosa Legood, Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Furthermore, the researchers found that implementing a programme to test all British women over 30 years age could result in 17,000 fewer ovarian cancers and 64,000 fewer breast cancers.

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Ovarian cancer, with the lowest survival rate of all gynaecological cancers, is diagnosed annually in nearly a quarter of a million women globally and is responsible for 140,000 deaths each year. (IANS)