Half of all cancers of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus [womb]) occur in women between the ages of 35 and 55 years. Every year more than 11 000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and nearly 4 000 will die from complications of this disease. Cervical cancer is preventable and curable if detected early. The November 21, 2007, issue
of JAMA includes an article describing the use of careful follow-up and an imaging test called fluorine-18-labeled deoxyglucose-positron-emission tomographic scan (FDG-PET), a nuclear medicine scan that detects uptake of glucose by tumor cells, to assess tumor response to therapy, to predict survival outcomes, and to detect early recurrence of tumor cells.