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Imaging System Helps Detect Cervical Pre-Cancer

For women who have abnormal Pap test

FRIDAY, March 17, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- A new system to help doctors identify pre-cancerous cells on a woman's cervix has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

MediSpectra's LUMA Cervical Imaging System can detect pre-cancerous cells missed by colposcopy, a diagnostic tool used on women with an abnormal Pap smear. In 50 cases of pre-cancer detected during a clinical study of 193 women, nine were caught by the LUMA system after being missed by colposcopy, the FDA said in a news release.

LUMA shines a light on the cervix and evaluates how different portions of cervical tissue respond to that light, the agency said. This and colposcopy results help doctors decide where to biopsy.

"Use of the LUMA device is not a substitute for a thorough colposcopic exam," the agency stressed.

If detected early, cervical cancer is "highly preventable," the FDA said. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006, about 9,710 cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and about 3,700 U.S. women will die from the disease.

More information

To learn more about cervical cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

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