[MOL] Breast Pads.. from Prevention Magazine Archives [00551] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Breast Pads.. from Prevention Magazine Archives

healthy living
Heat-Seeking Pads May Find Breast Cancer Sooner
Scales Heat-sensitive pads that you slip into your bra at the doctor's office may be a new way to detect breast diseases, including cancer. Unlike mammograms, the pads produce no radiation exposure, and they're effective on the dense breast tissue of younger women. They rely on the fact that cancer cells have a more active metabolism than normal cells and so generate more heat. After they're worn for 15 minutes during a doctor visit, pads from both breasts are compared for temperature differences. "If any are found, it means the breast needs to be examined more carefully," explains Everett M. Lautin, MD, a diagnostic radiologist at Albert Einstein Medical College-Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

The pads have been cleared for use as an addition to standard screening and are being marketed as the BreastAlert Differential Temperature Sensor by HumaScan, Inc., in Cranford, NJ. They may prove most useful to women under 40, who don't usually have mammograms unless a suspicious lump is detected by physical examination, Dr. Lautin says. The pads may be able to detect breast changes much earlier than a physical exam, although it's not certain yet whether they can detect breast diseases earlier than mammograms can, Dr. Lautin explains. The pads might also be used in older women between mammograms.

-- by Gale Maleskey

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