Scientists Use Spectroscopy to Study Black Holes, Stars, and Now Cervixes (Gizmodo)

Scientists Use Spectroscopy to Study Black Holes, Stars, and Now Cervixes

BY KRISTEN PHILIPKOSKI

Scientists Use Spectroscopy to Study Black Holes, Stars, and Now Cervixes

Scientists use spectroscopy to examine the make-up of celestial objects. Now, they’re taking the technology in a decidedly different direction and using it to detect ovarian cancer.

Over the past decade, Guided Therapeutics has identified cellular markers specific to cervical cancer cells, which their new device identifies by shining a spectrum of light on the tissue. Like spectroscopy for planets and stars, the company’s LuViva Cervical Guide shines light on the object of interest, then analyzes how that light is reflected. The technique is non-invasive and doesn’t require tissue samples or lab tests, which is reason to celebrate for anyone who’s had a Pap-smear or cervical biopsy.

“Every molecule has a spectral fingerprint. If you hit it with a specific wavelength of light any tissue will reveal its nature and tell you something about itself,” Mark Faupel, CEO of Guided Therapeutics, told me during a phone interview. “We’ve adapted this technology used by NASA to identify whether there’s life on other planets to detect cancer cells in tissue in vivo (i.e. in a live person).”

In studies looking at 1,600 cervixes, the company’s scientists found that the device detected 90 percent of cervical cancers an average of two years earlier than Pap smears, the technique currently used by doctors for early diagnosis. Pap smears are a good way to detect cervical cancer early but they also lead to a lot of false positives—only 20 percent of patients who have abnormal Paps actually require treatment. That’s an 80 percent false positive rate. The test also completely misses two-thirds of pre-cancerous cells.

False positive or not, an abnormal Pap smear typically leads to a colposcopy, which is basically a quick but sometimes painful scrape of the cervix’s surface cells to obtain a biopsy.

Cervical cancer, which is usually caused by human papilloma virus, is a major killer of women, especially in developing countries where women have less access to Pap smears. In the United States where Pap smears are routine, most women catch pre-cancerous cells early enough that it’s 100 percent treatable by removing the abnormal cells with cryosurgery or laser therapy. But in places where Pap tests are not routine and cervical cancer often goes undetected until it has spread, LuViva could save lives. The device will be relatively inexpensive at about $20,000, so Faupel hopes smaller clinics will be able to afford one.

“We wanted to make it accessible to use on a reservation for Native Americans or rural clinics in developing countries,” he says. “This can be used for the underserved population, not just afforded by large industrial hospital complexes.”

The National Cancer Institute has granted Guided Therapeutics $6 million to develop the technology, and the company hopes to receive final FDA approval to market the device sometime this month.

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2012 Raw Food World Summit, FREE!

A free 8-day tele-summit featuring over 40 world-class leaders in the raw food and conscious living movement January 23-January 30 2012.  Registration is required before you can take advantage, but it’s absolutely free at http://rawpalooza.com

Once registered, you will have access to the full schedule, access codes, and the opportunity to purchase transcripts if you are unable to listen to any particular segment.  This tele-summit will be available via the web or phone, and the times listed are pacific standard time so you will need to adjust your tune-in time accordingly.  

I’ve personally listened to Raw Vegan Radio with Steve Prussack, and he has some great content for everyone.  Even if you aren’t very familiar with the raw food or vegan lifestyle, you may learn a thing or two!  This is a simple and fun way to learn how to incorporate some healthy practices into your daily regimen!

In Love and Light,

A.K.S.

Announcement! New Blog Category Coming Soon: WHOLEsome SOULfoods

Greetings my beautiful people,

Lately I’ve been sharing a lot of health related blogs, articles, and ideas which have garnered a significant amount of support, and I THANK YOU DEARLY!  I feel completely inspired and supported in this journey, and I want to be sure that the overall purpose of the blog continues to ring clear:  bringing sisters (and brothers:) together in love and light in an effort to heal our WHOLE selves and our WHOLE communities, birthing strong, grounded generations, dreams, and spirits .  With that said,  I know we may all be in different places on our individual paths, so I’m directing the health/food talk to it’s own special category, allowing readers who want that particular wisdom to easily access it!  Of course, the latest posts will continue to show up on the homepage no matter what the category!

It’s been rejuvenating to hear that so many people are taking control of their health by eating, doing, and believing what’s wholesome to the body and the spirit, and know that I will surely continue to share wisdom as I’m exposed!

 

In Love, Light, and Prosperity,

                                                                                                                    A.K.S.

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