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Ward trials safer breast scanner


12 November, 2008  

A hospital in Bristol is pioneering a revolutionary way of scanning for breast cancer that is quicker and safer than conventional methods.

The world’s first radar breast-imaging system takes approximately six minutes to operate, compared with up to 45 minutes for an MRI.

The device, developed by Bristol University, uses radio waves that offer no risk from radiation, unlike conventional mammograms.

The system has been used at Frenchay Hospital since September, with around 60 women having been examined using the technology.

Professor Alan Preece and Dr Ian Craddock, from the University’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, said: “This new imaging technique works by transmitting radio waves of a very low energy and detecting reflected signals, it then uses these signals to make a 3D image of the breast. This is basically the same as any radar system, such as the radars used for airtraffic control at our airports.”

The radar breast-imaging system is built using transmitters and receivers arranged around a ceramic cup, in which the breast sits. These transmitters view the breast from several different angles.

Copyright Press Association 2008

North Bristol NHS Trust