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New Portable “DIY” Breast Scanner To Go On Sale

Breast scannerA new portable breast scanner that could soon allow women to undergo breast screening in their home, has been invented. The device which was made by Professor Zhipeng Wu, of Manchester University uses radio waves (similar to a microwave oven) to scan tissues for suspicious lumps. The scanner, which is shaped like a cup, has sensors around it that can take up to 30 images from different angles every second, and flags up tumours as red dots, on an attached screen.

Furthermore, the scanners, which are small enough to fit inside a lunch box, do not require the use of liquid gel (as in ultrasound) and can be done in oil, milk, water or fitted over the bra. In addition, the device is said to have a high accuracy rate for Women under 50, which is considerably better when compared to the traditional mammography. They also provide real-time imaging which reduces the chances of missing a breast tumour during scanning.

Although there is still more research to be done before the device can be released into the market, the early signs are positive. Professor Wu hopes that, if successful, the portable scanners would eventually be used at home in order to allow Women at risk, to continuously monitor their health thereby reducing hospital waiting lists. However, because the scanner cannot distinguish between cancerous and benign tumours, patients will still have to be referred for further tests if lumps are discovered. For now, the most effective screening tool for detecting cancer still remains mammography.

Talking Point

What are the potential benefits of a portable do-it-yourself breast scanner? Do you think the device will be widely accepted considering its potential benefits particularly to people in developing countries?

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  2. Henway

    November 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Great to see technology like this being invented. Something that can actually change the world as opposed to wasting time (FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter, etc)

  3. Computers Smart Phones Technology

    November 9, 2010 at 1:24 am

    If the device is successful, I think it is going to be relative acceptable for view people in developing countries, because lots of people we still prefer to go for mammography which is the most effective for screening tool for detecting cancer.

  4. Kim

    November 9, 2010 at 3:29 am

    I agree with previous post. While is may be convenient, an able to be used more, I think it should be used in conjunction with traditional, physician supervised testing

    • Admin

      February 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Well said.

  5. Joice

    September 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article. The breast scanner sounds like a great idea. I hope this is going to be successful.

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