Saturday, June 25, 2005

PSA: Have You Had Your Pap?

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the developing world and the second highest cause of cancer death among American women. The New York State Assembly recently passed legislation creating a cervical cancer prevention and awareness plan for women in that state.

On a more global level, a new self-test for cervical cancer has been developed and will begin to be distributed in South Africa this fall. The test does not require a pelvic exam and is inserted by the woman like a tampon and then sent out for lab interpretation. It costs 25 cents.

Between these improvements in screening and the new HPV vaccine in development, could cervical cancer be essentially eliminated in our lifetime? If so, thanks should go to George Soros (underwriter of the new test) and Bill Gates (who has generously supported vaccination efforts).

(h/t Feministe and Will Baude)
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