New breast cancer detector launched

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A pioneering new technique which can detect breast cancer tumours that might otherwise be missed was launched yesterday at a London hospital.

The treatment, called a scintimammography, uses a radioactive tracer injected into the body to highlight any cancers in the breast which can then be identified on a scan. Doctors will use the technique if there is any doubt that cancerous cells may have gone undetected by a mammogram scan or other tests.

The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, which helped pioneer the technique, is the first in the country to offer it to patients. About 30 hospitals should be using it in the next two months.