Cervical Cancer is easily treatable yet one woman dies from it every two minutes! Over 530,000 cases of Cervical Cancer are diagnosed each year with over 275,000 deaths reported, primarily in undeveloped and developing world countries (88%). In the U.S. alone, 12,500 new cervical cancer cases were diagnosed with a death rate of nearly 4,000/yr. Cervical cancer is the 2nd most prevalent form of cancer found in women worldwide and the 2nd leading cause of death in women within the developing world. Early detection and treatment dramatically reduces both the incidence of cervical cancer and cervical cancer death rates.
Cervical pre-cancerous abnormalities, when detected early, have an excellent cure rate with appropriate treatment. The 5-year relative survival rate is 88% for women with an initial diagnosis of localized cancer, but only 13% when the cancer has spread to organs away from the cervix.
There are approximately 1.6 billion women globally who should be screened for cervical cancer, yet only 160 million pap tests are performed on a global basis each year (~10% of eligible women). The bulk of these tests are performed within the developed countries of the world. In emerging countries, only 14% of the target population receives any screening due to the lack of necessary laboratory infrastructure. The greatest need for a low cost, easy to use cervical cancer screening test is clearly in the emerging markets, where significant numbers of women die each year from cervical cancer.