Hopes breast cancer treatment could be sped up with amazing new technology | The Sun

A NEW breakthrough in breast cancer treatment has sparked hopes patients could be treated faster and more effectively.

Scientists have created a tiny microscope that can place previously unreachable body tissue under the lens.

This device could accelerate breast cancer treatment by producing images of tissue with "unprecedented speed," according to experts at Imperial College London.

It is less than 1mm in diameter, which is around the width of 25 human hairs put together.

Dr Khushi Vyas and colleagues at Imperial College London hope the endo-microscope will allow them to identify cancerous cells a hundredth of a millimetre in size.

If this was to become standard practice, identifying and treating breast cancer would happen at a much faster rate as the endo-microscope generates up to 120 frames per second.

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In addition, the team also said the improved accuracy of the device against traditional methods will reduce the need for follow up surgeries where cancerous cells originally went undetected.

Due to its precision, the tool will also save much more normal breast tissue when a surgeon removes the cancer.

Production and development of the endo-microscope is currently supported by the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation.

Dr Kedar Pandya, EPSRC director for cross-council programmes, said: "By reducing the time it takes to identify cancerous cells and improve the accuracy of imaging, the endo-microscope developed by Dr Vyas and his team could benefit patients and the NHS by reducing waiting lists."

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Dr Khushi Vyas added: "Our aim is to proceed to clinical trials with a view to the system becoming available for deployment in around five years."

So far, researchers have used their system for preliminary studies on human cancer tissue.

Surgeons and pathologists are now testing it on laboratory samples of cancerous tissue.

This comes after a revolutionary AI scanner which could save breast cancer patients enduring gruelling chemotherapy treatments was developed.

Inventors of the Digistain artificial intelligence technology say it can tell with 99 per cent accuracy whose cancers are unlikely to come back.

They say up to 4,000 women per year have unnecessary chemo because doctors are over-cautious about the tumour returning.

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CEO Dr Hemmel Amrania said: “This new technology speeds up a system that is currently too slow and where time and swift action are precious commodities.

“We are on a mission to prevent breast cancer patients from unnecessary chemotherapy and to get a diagnosis and treatment plan to them quickly, reducing the pain and anxiety of waiting for results.”

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

  1. Change in breast size or shape – By checking your breasts regularly, you’ll get to know whether a change in size or shape is part of what’s normal for you, or if it’s something unusual that’s worth getting checked out by your doctor.
  2. Redness or rash – It is important to look out for signs of reddening or a rash, on the skin and around the nipple.
  3. Nipple discharge – If liquid comes from the nipple without squeezing it, it is important to get it checked by a doctor.
  4. Swelling in the armpit or around the collarbone – Lumps are the most common sign of breast cancer, but they don't always appear in the breast – when checking your boobs each month it is important to be thorough and check all around the breast and surrounding area.
  5. Change in skin texture – From puckering to the slightest hint of a dimple – changes in the skin's appearance on your breasts can be a sign of cancer – if it looks and feels like the peel of an orange, go and check it out with your GP.
  6. An inverted nipple – If your nipple suddenly starts to be pulled inwards, or changes its shape or position in any way, then it could be a warning sign.
  7. Constant pain – A dull ache that won't go away in the breast or armpit, is a warning sign for breast cancer – If the pain doesn't disappear after a reasonable amount of time, it is worth telling your doctor.

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