© 2017, World Molecular Imaging Society. The advent of fluorescence imaging (FI) for cancer cell detection in the field of oncology is promising for both cancer screening and surgical resection. Particularly, FI in cancer screening and surveillance is actively being evaluated in many new clinical trials with over 30 listed on Clinical Trials.gov. While surgical resection forms the foundation of many oncologic treatments, early detection is the cornerstone for improving outcomes and reducing cancer-related morbidity and mortality. The applications of FI are twofold as it can be applied to high-risk patients in addition to those undergoing active surveillance. This technology has the promise of highlighting lesions not readily detected by conventional imaging or physical examination, allowing disease detection at an earlier stage of development. Additionally, there is a persistent need for innovative, cost-effective imaging modalities to ameliorate healthcare disparities and the global burden of cancer worldwide. In this review, we outline the current utility of FI for screening and detection in a range of cancer types.