Native fluorescence spectroscopy of biomolecules has emerged as a new modality to the medical community in characterizing the various physiological conditions of tissues. In the past several years, many groups have been working to introduce the spectroscopic methods to diagnose cancer. Researchers have successfully used native fluorescence to distinguish cancerous from normal tissue samples in rat and human tissue. We have developed three generations of instruments, called the CD-scan, CD-ratiometer and CD-map, to allow the medical community to use optics for diagnosing tissue. Using ultraviolet excitation and emission spectral measurements on both normal and cancerous tissue of the breast, gynecology, colon, and aerodigestive tract can be separated. For example, from emission intensities at 340 nm to 440 nm (300 nm excitation), a statistically consistent difference between malignant tissue and normal or benign tissue is observed. In order to utilize optical biopsy techniques in a clinical setting, the CD-scan instrument was developed, which allows for rapid and reliable in-vitro and in-vivo florescence measurements of the aerodigestive tract with high accuracy. The instrumentation employs high sensitivity detection techniques which allows for lamp excitation, small diameter optical fiber probes; the higher spatial resolution afforded by the small diameter probes can increase the ability to detect smaller tumors. The fiber optic probes allow for usage in the aerodigestive tract, cervix and colon. Needle based fiber probes have been developed for in-vivo detection of breast cancer.