Researchers at UC Irvine's College of Medicine have been awarded $2.7 million by the National Institutes of Health to conduct a five-year study of 3,500 women to streamline the detection and treatment of cervical cancer.
About 16,000 women are found to have the disease and 4,500 die each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The current process of detection and treatment can take months to complete, requiring numerous doctor visits.
Dr. Alberto Manetta, a researcher on the project, estimates that 20% to 40% of patients with abnormal Pap smear readings don't return for further testing and treatment.
The researchers hope that by providing diagnosis and treatment in one day, they can reduce the incidence and death rate of the disease.
"People may have problems with the cost of multiple visits, or with transportation and child care, or they may not have access to a telephone," said Manetta, also an associate dean at UCI. He also said the study will determine if the one-visit system is cost effective.
Researchers also plan to examine whether environmental and genetic factors increase the risk of getting cervical cancer.
Women interested in volunteering for the study should contact the UCI Family Health centers in Anaheim at (714) 774-9795 or in Santa Ana at (714) 541-6545.