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New portable scanner for breast cancer diagnosis

October 12, 2017

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."

Source: University of Manchester