Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye

Date:
October 27, 2010
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Women could have a fast test for breast cancer and instantly identify the presence of a tumor in the comfort of their own home, thanks to groundbreaking research.

A new portable scanner based on radio frequency technology can show in a second the presence of tumors -- malignant and benign -- in the breast on a computer. The red dot indicates the presence of a tumor.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Manchester

Women could have a fast test for breast cancer and instantly identify the presence of a tumor in the comfort of their own home thanks to groundbreaking new research from the University of Manchester.

Professor Zhipeng Wu has invented a portable scanner based on radio frequency technology, which is able to show in a second the presence of tumours -- malignant and benign -- in the breast on a computer.

Using radio frequency or microwave technology for breast cancer detection has been proven by researchers in the US, Canada and UK. However, up to now, it can take a few minutes for an image to be produced, and this had to be done in a hospital or specialist care centre.

Now Professor Wu, from the University's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, says concerned patients can receive real-time video images in using the radio frequency scanner which would clearly and simply show the presence of a tumour.

Not only is this a quicker and less-intrusive means of testing, it also means women can be tested at GP surgeries, which could help dramatically reduce waiting times and in some cases avoid unnecessary X-ray mammography. The scanner could also be used at home for continuous monitoring of breast health.

The patented real-time radio frequency scanner uses computer tomography and works by using the same technology as a mobile phone, but with only a tiny fraction of its power.

This makes it both safe and low-cost and the electronics can be housed in a case the size of a lunch box for compactness and portability. Other existing systems are much larger.

Breast cancer is the second biggest killer in women, accounting for 8.2% of all cancer deaths. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The usual way of detecting breast cancer up to now is mammography, which works well for women over the age of 50 and can give results of up to 95% accuracy.

But it is far less effective for younger women. The detection rate could be as low as 60% for women under the age of 50, which accounts for 20% of all breast cancer cases.

At that stage it is even more important get accurate diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment could save thousands of lives.

The main difference between the two methods is that mammography works on density, while radio frequency technique works on dielectric contrasts between normal and diseased breast tissues.

In Professor Wu's design, as soon as the breast enters the cup an image appears on screen.

The presence of a tumour or other abnormality will show up in red as the sensor detects the difference in tissue contrasts at radio frequencies. Malignant tissues have higher permittivity and conductivity and therefore appear differently than normal ones to a screen.

Up to 30 images are generated every second, meaning a breast scan could be over in a far shorter time than they are currently.

Professor Wu said: "The system we have is portable and as soon as you lie down you can get a scan -- it's real-time.

"The real-time imaging minimises the chance of missing a breast tumour during scanning.

"Other systems also need to use a liquid or gel as a matching substance, such as in an ultrasound, to work but with our system you don't need that -- it can be done simply in oil, milk, water or even with a bra on.

"Although there is still research to be done, the system has great potential to bring a new way for breast cancer diagnosis.

"This will benefit millions of women in both developed and developing countries bearing in mind that one in nine women may develop breast cancer in their lifetime."

Professor Wu submitted his innovation of the sensor system to the IET Innovation Awards. The technology has been shortlisted in both Electronics and Measurement in Action categories. The winners will be announced in November.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027090838.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2010, October 27). Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027090838.htm
University of Manchester. "Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027090838.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins