Women aged 16–20 are just as likely to develop cervical disease as women 21 and older, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The risk was proven during a pivotal clinical trial of Guided Therapeutics’ LightTouch Cervical Scanner, which showed that cervical disease is a significant problem across a large group of the population.

18% of the 290 adolescents presented showed significant disease, the same as the group of 1,317 women aged 21 and older who were correctly identified using LightTouch as having cervical disease.

The study included 1,607 women who received the LightTouch test and other tests routinely used to refer women to biopsy.

290 women between the ages of 16 and 20 were tested, 52 of whom were found to have precancer and cancer missed by the diagnostic standard of care consisting of Pap test, HPV test, colposcopy and biopsy.