Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have developed a new breast scanner that is designed to detect subtle changes in breast cells before a lump can be felt by hand or seen with X-ray mammography.
Martin Tornai, Ph.D.
Such early detection should enable doctors to more successfully treat breast cancer before it has formed a tumor or spread to lymph nodes, said Martin Tornai, Ph.D., associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Duke and developer of the device. The new camera has undergone extensive testing in artificial breasts and will begin testing in women this spring.
The camera uses nuclear medicine to pick up chemical changes to breast cells that signal the cells are becoming malignant, said Tornai. The camera should be particularly useful for detecting tumors in large or dense breasts, which are difficult to image using traditional mammography because X-rays often cannot penetrate them. Moreover, the geometry of the new device allows for imaging small breasts and the nearby chest wall. It can even image the axillary lymph nodes to look for evidence of metastasis -- which traditional mammography cannot do. The new device works without any breast compression, and women may not be required to remove their bras.
Becky Levine | dukemed news
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