How To: Use vinegar to diagnose cervical cancer


19 Responses to “How To: Use vinegar to diagnose cervical cancer”

  1. Guest says:

    Low-tech, non-invasive, life-saving – love it!

  2. Guest says:

    And before anyone balks at the idea of this being ‘non-invasive’, when you are an old woman like I am, having another doctor, in yet another yearly exam look up your hoo-hoo, becomes ho-hum.

  3. Lobster says:

    Sounds kind of uncomfortable.  Then again, so is cervical cancer, I’d imagine.

    • blueelm says:

      To me, the biopsy is much more painful than anything. So this seems less painful by far. Chunks of tissue being pulled out with pincers and no local or painkillers = a damned unpleasant afternoon.

  4. herrnichte says:

    That whole approach is a non-starter… it isn’t patentable, there can be no medical “conferences” to promote it, it has no profitable “off-label” uses, merely renaming vinegar as acetomaxx-6000 will not help the business plan, and worst of all it doesn’t recommend constitutive use!

  5. gspelvin says:

    I wish I had found out about this last week (although the Dr. probably wouldn’t have bothered)…I am still bleeding from biopsy and this sounds so much easier to deal with.

    Funny how no matter the country, there’s a Coca Cola plant somewhere at least a little accessible.

  6. Lolotehe says:

    I seem to recall that HPV could be easily found using vinegar, and we already knew that HPV is a good indicator of cancer risk, so this does not seem that new to me.  Not to say this is not a great thing!

  7. Colton says:

    This also works for male genital warts which normally are very shallow and the same color as the skin they lay on.  The vinegar makes them stand out as stark white disks

    – I showed it to my doctor back in 1989 and he called me an idiot and told me the ‘effect’ was actually the vinegar irritating my skin.  Nice to feel vindicated though 20 years years later.

  8. would this work to see precancerous spots in oral cancer as well?

  9. Stefan Jones says:

    It’s all a big plot by Big Vinegar to sustain their profits.

  10. travtastic says:

    And the race is on to retroactively patent vinegar.

  11. kittnkat says:

    OMG that’s brilliant! Is there anything vinegar’s not good for? Everything we need is right in front of us, how amazing…

  12. Mac says:

    I’m not sure why this is suddenly new.  Acetic acid staining (around 5% concentration) is one of the standard techniques with colposcopy.  Even the article mentions that it has been around for twenty years!

    Yes – it’s great that the WHO finally got around to ‘endorsing’ a standard technique that has been around for twenty years … but perhaps that should be the story.  Why the heck did it take them so long to endorse something that is so straight forward ?

    What next – A headline ‘WHO endorses using plaster to set broken bones?”

    If you want to read more about the technique, just google ‘acetowhite’.

  13. Mac says:

    BTW – I did a quick check on the phrase ‘acetowhite’ with google ngram viewer and it looks like the technique goes back to at least 1981.

    That makes it at least 30 years old.,cdr:1,cd_min:1981,cd_max:1981&lr=lang_en

  14. Thanks for this followup article!

    FYI: VIA/Cryo is not exactly “new.” It was pioneered by Jhpiego, affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, in 1995. More info:

    The non-profit I work for, Grounds for Health, has been training doctors and nurses in the method for over six years in Latin America and Tanzania with amazing success. We focus on establishing sustainable cervical cancer prevention programs in coffee-growing countries, and have found VIA/Cryo, or what we call the Single Visit Approach, to be incredibly effective and powerful.

    @stefanjones:disqus: “Big Vinegar” … if only! We actually found Heinz to be the most effective in detecting the lesions. But the success has fallen on deaf ears — Heinz basically said, “We don’t want people to associate vinegar with cancer.” Funny now that this NYT article has been getting all this press … it could have been “Heinz Vinegar Prevents Cancer” … oh well. Here’s info on vinegar quality:

    Thanks again for the post (and my apologies for my li’l novel here).
    Justin –

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