International Health News

Temperature sensitive pads detect breast cancer

CRANFORD, NEW JERSEY. An American engineer, Zsigmond Sagi, has developed a temperature sensitive pad which can be used to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The soft, lightweight pads are worn inside the bra for 15 minutes and are then visually analyzed for telltale signs of temperature variations. The pads record the skin temperatures across three large areas of each breast. If an area of one breast shows a temperature 2oF or more higher than the corresponding area of the other breast there is a high probability that a cancerous tumor is present. Clinical trials of the pads carried out prior to FDA approval found that they were accurate in predicting breast cancer in 80 per cent of all women and in 90 per cent of women under 50 years of age. The pad technology is particularly valuable for younger women where mammography is not very accurate and is far safer and more comfortable than mammography. The technique is, however, not suitable for women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy or whose breasts are mismatched for other reasons. The presence of mastitis or sclerosing adenosis can provide false postive readings due to the heat generated by inflammation. A large clinical trial of the pads involving almost 6,000 women is currently underway. This trial will compare the pad results with the results of biopsies and the participants will be followed-up for four years. NOTE: The pads, BreastAlert Differential Temperature Sensor, are available to physicians from Humascan Inc., Cranford, NJ and cost $25/pair.
Heat-seeking pads may help find early breast cancers. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 89, October 1, 1997, pp. 1402-04

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