Device to help women detect breast cancer

Nagpur: Most gynaecologists do not examine breasts routinely, said Dr PK Shah, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seth GS Medical college and KEM Hospital, Mumbai.
Dr Shah was speaking on early detection and prevention of breast diseases at a CME on the subject, organized by Nagpur Obstetric and Gynecological Society (NOGS), at a city hotel on Sunday.

Dr Shah, presenting a prevention initiative by a pharmaceutical company, introduced the participants to a self-examination breast scan device. The company, wanting to make an investment in women’s health care, planned to distribute the device to 10,000 gynaecologists in India, he said.

“If the results of the device, which is imported from Hong Kong, are positive, we would appeal to the health ministry to take over the project,” he said.

“When gynaecologists suggest a patient to undertake mammography, she may get unduly worried. However, the self-breast examination device has been designed for use as part of regular breast awareness routine. The device is useful in looking for abnormalities before a person has any symptom and helps find cancer by detecting the abnormal tissue early,” he said.

Dr Shah also gave a demonstration on of the breast scan device.

The device works by shining a bright red light through breast tissue. The light is harmless and it highlights blood vessels which show as dark lines. “Red Blood Cells (RBC) strongly absorb light and the degree of absorption is determined by a number of RBCs per unit volume of breast tissue. Cysts appear translucent whereas blood-filled cysts appear opaque. In the early stages of some types of malignancies, there is an increase in blood flow to the area,” Dr Shah said.

This device uses touch sensor technology to ensure that the light is fully at power only when the lens is in with the skin. “It is designed to maximize LED light transmission through the breast tissue. It is imperative to use it in a dark room,” he said.

At the event, Dr Murtaza Akhtar spoke on ‘Overview of benign lesions of breast’, while Dr Ajay Mehta spoke on ‘Malignant lesions of breast — path to eradicate’. NOGS president Dr Kanchan Sortey and secretary Dr Sushma Deshmukh were at the forefront in organizing the event.

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