There is an urgent global need for effective and affordable approaches to cervical cancer screening and diagnosis. In developing nations, cervical malignancies remain the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. This reality may be difficult to accept given that these deaths are largely preventable; where cervical screening programs have been implemented, cervical cancer-related deaths have decreased dramatically. In developed countries, the challenges of cervical disease stem from high costs and overtreatment. The National Cancer Institute-funded Program Project is evaluating the applicability of optical technologies in cervical cancer. The mandate of the project is to create tools for disease detection and diagnosis that are inexpensive, require minimal expertise, are more accurate than existing modalities, and can be feasibly implemented in a variety of clinical settings. This article presents the status and long-term goals of the project.
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