According to discoveries during an India study of 150,000 women, vinegar tests lessens cervical cancer deaths by one-third. The quick exam with the acetic liquid–performed by swabbing the cervix with diluted vinegar to reveal abnormal cells–could save tens of thousands of lives in slum villages, doctors reported Sunday (June 2) at a conference in Chicago.
“I got my life back because of these tests,” Usha Devi, one of the women in the study, says. ”Everyone said it would go away, and every time I thought about going to the doctor there was either no money or something else would come up.”
Poorer countries cannot afford clinical screenings like pap smears and tests for HPV, making the vinegar test women’s best bet to catch early signs of cancer. It could prevent 22,000 deaths in India and 72,600 worldwide each year, researchers estimate.