Forgive the typo on the banner that advertised Nihon University’s portable breast cancer checker over at Medica 2011, as the ultimate aim of the device is worth talking about instead of concentrating on how one spells the word ‘cancer’. Nihon University’s exhibit is tipped to be further refined so that it will see action by being used to perform easy cancer tests at just about anywhere, be it at home or at a public area. Being diminutive in size and lightweight enough to be held in one hand, it will need to be applied to the breast to get a reading. It will not work in the same way as that of a mammogram, so you need not sandwich the breast.
While no images of the prototype are available, looking at the banner alone ought to give you a rough idea on how the final device will look like. Researchers over at the Nihon University used a technology known as “phase shift method”, where light-emitting and light-receiving elements which rely on LEDs were formed on the surface so that it can be applied to the breast. A light with a wavelength of 850nm is emitted, where light reflected from the breast will be detected. As a cancerous part will reflect a slightly different color, it will be easier to detect any cancer in its early stages.