Now, a do-it-yourself device for breast cancer detectionFriday August 1 2008 12:24 IST ANI
LONDON: Women in Scotland can now carry out breast cancer checks in the four walls of their house, thanks to a new device developed with the help of Scottish Government funding.
Called Breastlight, the device is manufactured by PWB Health, in Dumbarton, and requires the user to shine a bright red light through the breast to show up any changes, such as lumps which may be cancer.
Launched recently in the market, the device was developed using a grant of 165,000 pounds from the Smart:Scotland awards scheme.
However the benefits of the 79 pounds device are being questioned by cancer charities, which claim that women do not need complex equipment to be aware of changes in their breasts.
This hand-held device works by shining a strong, harmless light through the breast. The light passes through the tissue and reveals dark areas where blood is present, i.e. it lights up the veins.
In case there is a dark cluster, the developers say this is a potential abnormality that should be checked out by a doctor.
PWB Health indicated that Breastlight is not a replacement for a mammogram and encourages women to attend screening when invited.
Antonia Dean, of Breast Cancer Care, said the device could make people believe that lumps were the only signs of breast cancer.
"Currently, there is no proof or sufficient clinical evidence that the Breastlight product results in earlier detection of breast cancer, increases survival or is any more helpful than the normal practice of being breast aware," she said.