Scientists at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania are developing an optical scanner that uses light to see into breast tissue.
The technology picks up changes in blood volume and oxygen...metabolic changes that occur wen a tumor begins to grow.
"So, even before a shape forms, we could potentially, see the growth of this cancer," said Banu Onaral, Ph.D.
The scanner makes a low steady tone as it moves along the breast. The pitch changes if it detects a difference. The device is not intended to replace the mammogram, which is the gold standard test for breast cancer. This is only intended as a pre-screening tool, something women could use on a regular basis at home. But right now, it is still experimental and researchers say it is probably years away from being widely available.