Early detection and surviving cervical cancer
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Purdue University researchers are saving women around the world. They are developing a low-cost, point-of-care paper test that could greatly change cervical cancer detection worldwide.
Cervical cancer killed 342,000 women around the world in 2020. About 90 percent of those women live in low- and middle-income countries.
Current tests like pap smears cost a lot and require a lot of resources including clinical specialists, and they take a while to process. Waiting for your result can be nerve-racking especially when it comes to cancer.
Think of the paper-based test as a rapid covid test. According to one of the Purdue researchers… the developing paper-based device detects proteins critical in noninvasive, to invasive cervical cancer. The results come back within minutes, and it is simple to use.
“So we’ve got a couple of let’s see if they show up, a couple of early prototypes where you can put a sample on and you’ve got the flow and the lines will show up at where the targets are,” stated Jaqueline Linnes, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Purdue university. “The idea is that by doing it this way, you can the get your test results on-site.”
Another goal for this test is to have it sell at a cost-effective price. Purdue University researchers expect the test to be fully developed and out in a few years. As they are still testing various antibodies.
Local health experts and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS ) are urging women to add cervical screen testing to their list of things to get done. This is because cervical cancer can be preventable if caught early.
News ten’s Taylor Gattoni spoke to a local woman who beat cervical cancer.
Amy Allen knows the difficulty thousands of women across the world face. Going through the process, waiting for results, and fighting for a cure.
Allen said she felt she had a voice in helping save other women’s lives. “I remember like it was yesterday when I got the diagnosis,” said Allen. “My head was spinning, and I said wait a minute… did you just tell me I have cancer?”
Allen was told she had cervical cancer in 2016. She went in for a pap smear and thankfully the cancer was detected early, saving her life. “Because mine was caught so, so early, it had not become invasive, it had not spread outside the cervix, it was actually what they call stage 0,” said Allen. While Allen detected the cancer early. She still went through the challenges of a hysterectomy. Allen said she is happy with her two sons. However, it can be difficult for women to give up part of their body. “Early detection gives you options, and early diagnosis even one like mine doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a hysterectomy,” said Allen.
Women are recommended to get a pap smear every three years to detect cervical cancer. Depending on your insurance, researchers said the test could be free to $100 dollars in cost. Out-of-pocket costs would be much more.
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