DETROIT, Mich. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Each year more than 18-million women get a mammogram. But up to 15% of mammograms miss tell-tale signs of cancer. Now, a new technology that’s better at finding cancer and saving lives could be available.
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“I was just re-diagnosed in December and this time I had a mastectomy, and it was a little bit rougher ride for me,” Judy Ballard, breast cancer patient and survivor told Ivanhoe.
And Ballard’s still at risk for it to return. But, she’s getting a follow-up screening with a new technology that uses water
“It feels like a little sauna on your breast. The water temperature is warm, it’s very relaxing, it’s comforting,” Ballard explained.
“So far it’s been able to see almost all the cancers that are above five millimeters,” Peter Littrup, M.D., radiologist at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Mich., told Ivanhoe.
Developed by physicists and radiologists, the new technology, called computed ultrasound risk evaluation device -- or CURE -- does not use radiation, lasts one minute and is completely pain-free.
“We can get images with a lot more information than we’ve currently been able to. In fact we’re trying to also use this to reduce unnecessary biopsies,” Dr. Littrup said.
While the woman's breast is suspended in water, ultrasound sensors transmit sound waves through the water. The device measures how the sound waves travel through the breast tissue. Computer images help doctors better pinpoint cancerous tissue.
“Based on the more limited trails that we’ve done so far, it does in fact to appear to be more accurate than mammography,” Neb Duric, Ph.D., physicist at Karmanos Cancer Institute told Ivanhoe.
Ballard's clinical trial scan results are being studied. Other tests show her cancer has not come back.
“I’m a strong person, my attitude was it’s not going to get me,” Ballard said. A positive outlook to maintain a cancer-free life.
The American Physical Society and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.