||Almost all cancers are diagnosed through visual examination of microscopic tissue samples. Visual screening of cell samples, so called PAP-smears, has drastically reduced the incidence of cervical cancers in countries that have implemented population wide screening programs. But the visual examination is tedious, subjective and expensive. There has therefore been much research aiming for computer assisted or automated cell image analysis systems for cancer detection and diagnosis. Progress has been made but still most of cytology and pathology is done visually. In this presentation I will discuss some of the major issues involved, examine some of the proposed solutions and give some comments about the state of the art.