A SCANNER that can detect breast cancer without using radiation more effectively than traditional X-ray mammograms is being hailed as a breakthrough.
The new device finds tumours in the breast by using infra red beams and thermal energy.
Scientists at Real Imaging, the Israeli inventors of the scanner, found women with breast cancer produced different signals on the surface of their skin. The machine can detect this without direct contact with the breast.
In a trial of 2,500 women the scanner was 92 per cent effective at detecting breast cancer, compared to 80 per cent for X-ray mammograms. It was also found to be better at picking up cancers in younger women who tend to have denser breasts.
Dr Reuben Libson at Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem, said: “Mammography is an old-fashioned technology which requires examination by the naked eye. The scanner is hi-tech and doesn’t require a human being to be accurate.”
Further trials are due to be held but scientists hope the device will get EU approval this year, allowing it to be used in the UK.
It could enable more screening of women under 50. Doctors have been reluctant to expose young women to X-ray mammograms.
British businessmen David and Simon Reuben invested £11million in the scanner after a family death.