Breastlight – Early Detection

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Breast Cancer has taken a dear friend from me, and plagues other friends of mine.  Over 40,000 people will die of breast cancer this year – that’s over 40,000 too many.  A company called PWB Health Limited has created a device using red light to allow women to do a better job of breast self-examination – the BreastLight uses red light to shine through the breast tissue and illuminate veins, tissue, and any masses or abnormalities.  This is not a subsitute for mammogram screening, but gives women more confidence in their self-exams.

From the BreastLight website:

Breastlight allows you to look inside rather than outside the breast. To be effective, it has to be used in a dark room. The product works by shining a bright red light through the breast tissue. The light passes through the breast tissue and reveals dark areas where blood is present. It is therefore quite normal to see a pattern of veins but, if there is a dark cluster, this is a potential abnormality that should be checked out

Breastlight can be used by women of all ages, particularly menopausal or post-menopausal women when the density of the breast tissue has changed. It is also useful for women with fibrous breasts that always feel lumpy. The Breastlight will distinguish between normal breast tissue and areas where blood vessels are present that could indicate a potential abnormality.

Technical Explanation
Breastlight is designed to give the maximum light transmission through the breast tissue. Even so, only a small fraction of the light will pass through completely – and this is what you will see when you use the product. That’s why it’s important to use Breastlight in a very dark room.

We use red light to give the best contrast and enable you to see the maximum detail. The light is completely harmless and has no invisible rays. You can use Breastlight as often as you like with no side effects.

When the light hits a blood vessel in your breast it is absorbed by haemoglobin. This makes the veins in your breast appear as dark lines.

Malignant lumps have an increased blood supply to feed them so any dense areas may indicate an abnormality. Fluid filled cysts, however, will not absorb the light.

Someday we will hopefully figure out how to stop breast cancer from taking people from the world.  Until then, any product that helps self-detection and prevention is a win.  Breastlight is $115.00 USD or £77.50 GBP.

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The image above shows the BreastLight in use – unfortunately showing a mass