In-home breast cancer scanner on the horizon

Soon it may be out with mammograms and in with DIY breast scanners, from the comforts of your own home. A professor from the University of Manchester is developing a light, portable scanner that is easy to use and painless and detects the presence of breast cancer tumors in real time.

The scanner, about the size of a lunchbox, comes equipped with a breast scan cup. Once the breast is inserted, the scanner starts producing 30 images per second that are projected onto a screen. The presence of a tumor or other abnormality shows up in red (easy for an untrained eye to detect, sources say) as the sensor detects the difference in tissue contrasts at radio frequencies.

"The device is portable and light, and relatively inexpensive, so it is entirely practical to use in the home," writes University of Manchester spokesperson Daniel Cochlin via email. "This would serve as a first warning system," if a woman sees a red dot on the screen, indicating a tumor. "The next stage would be to contact a GP as a matter of urgency," he adds.

The scanner, reported to be a first of its kind, still needs to undergo clinical trials. Inventor Zhipeng Wu hopes his device will offer a quicker, less intrusive means of breast cancer testing outside of clinical settings, which could make it available to more women, more often, particularly in developing countries.

Using the scanner could also cut down on unnecessary doses of radiation from conventional X-ray mammography. Plus, while very effective in diagnosing women over 50, mammography sometimes misses the mark for younger women, and some suggest that radio frequency detection could offer more accuracy. Mammography is also not a real-time procedure, which can make it easier for a doctor to miss a problem.

Wu's scanner is another example of the burgeoning trend of DIY at-home medical devices. Also in the works is a bathroom mirror, being developed by a student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, that can measure vital signs - pulse, respiration, and blood pressure - allowing around-the-clock monitoring in real time for those who need it.

The H'andy sana 210, tagged as a "doctor in your pocket," is a device that allows heart patients to remotely monitor their heart by recording a real-time ECG (electrocardiogram) and send it to a health professional.

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=6282

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

    £14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

    Guru Careers: Financial Controller

    £45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

    Recruitment Genius: Fertility Nurse

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join the ho...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
    Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

    Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

    David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
    Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

    Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

    A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
    10 best DSLRs

    Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

    Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes