Inventors: Prof. Doron Kopelman
Despite the advances in breast imaging, there are clear indications for the need of clinical breast examination as part of breast cancer screening for all women. Early detection of breast cancer is not always straightforward. Mammography at its best has a sensitivity of about 85% to 90% in women older than 50 years of age; for women between the ages of 40 and 50, sensitivity is about 75% and is probably lower in women younger than age 40. This means that mammography will miss 1 in every 4 breast cancers in women between the ages of 40 and 50. Clinical breast examination is required to address these gaps in screening sensitivity. There are 3 specific components of the clinical breast examination that have been systematically evaluated and found to influence the accuracy of the examination.
The amount of time spent on the examination – Time spent on clinical breast examination is one of the best predictors of sensitivity. Several studies have shown that spending 2 minutes on the breast examination improves sensitivity.
The search pattern utilized – Studies have documented that a systematic search pattern that ensures that all breast tissue is examined is essential for increasing the sensitivity of the clinical breast examination.
The finger technique in palpation – The finger pads begin to circle in each area using light pressure, then repeat in the same area with medium and deep pressure before moving to the next area for examination. Observations of students indicate that failure to apply deep pressure limits the sensitivity of the examination in detecting deeper lesions.
Technology: The screening bra will provide an independent and automatic clinical breast screening examination. It will use gradual inflation of balloons to imitate the movement of the physician’s hand and detect irregularities during pre-defined movements in different patterns and will apply different levels of pressure against the chest wall.