New system advances breast cancer detection
Jeddah, September 5, 2011
A fully automated, non-invasive method has been unveiled which helps determine the risk of breast cancer in women as early as seven years before its full-blown infection.
Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Halo apparatus is the only automated device in the world for conducting the risk-screening test within minutes, a statement said.
It is manufactured by the American company NeoMatrix and is solely distributed in Saudi Arabia and North Africa by Sadeen Medical.
In a press conference held by the International Medical Center in Jeddah, Talal Anqawi, chairman of the Board of Directors of Sadeen Medical, said introduction of the Halo system would greatly contribute to efforts at the national level to combat breast cancer which threatens a great number of women and girls in Saudi Arabia.
The patented Halo Breast Pap System is effective, safe, non-invasive, easy to administer, and has received 510K approval by the FDA. Halo combines warmth, massage and suction to bring nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) to the surface.
The entire cycle is five minutes, and the fluid sample obtained is then sent to the lab and analyzed for cellular abnormalities. Detection of cellular abnormalities is the key for assessing the woman’s risk for developing breast cancer in the future.
NAF is a product of the breast ducts and studies have shown that virtually all breast cancer originates in the cells that line these interior milk ducts. Early detection of cellular abnormalities identifies those women at increased risk for cancer and a care path for the future can be created by the physician.
It is important to note that multiple scientific studies have shown the value of analyzing NAF for cellular abnormalities. Women with NAF samples containing atypia are at five times greater risk of developing breast cancer and this figure rises dramatically to 18 times greater risk when combined with a family history of breast cancer.
According to the National Registry in Saudi Arabia, breast cancer ranks first among cancers in Saudi Arabia with a pro rata of 24 per cent, followed by thyroid cancer and colon cancer, said Dr Khalid H. Wali Sait, head of Saudi Gynecology Oncology Group and head of the Gynecology Oncology Unit at King Abdul Aziz University Hospital’s College of Medicine.
He stressed on the importance of promoting awareness and providing prevention and early detection means in the fight against disease, especially breast cancer.
Dr Ahmed Badrais, managing director of Sadeen, said the Halo system is gaining increasing importance due to its contribution to not only the very early detection of breast cancer but also the probability of its onset in the future, which allows women who are found susceptible to the disease to get specialist advice and take preventive measures well in advance.
Steve Pulbrook, vice president of NeoMatrix, said in explaining the Halo system that the cure rate for breast cancer detected at an early stage (Stage 0 and 1) is 100 per cent
Breast cancer grows slowly and can be present for nearly eight years before it can be detected through a mammogram and 10 years before a lesion can be felt in the breast.
He said Halo is not a substitute for mammograms or manual detection but complements them and is an extra level of screening for the patient. Mammograms look for lesions and are most effective as women age.
Women under the age of 40 do not usually get regular mammograms. For women over 40, mammograms often do not detect abnormal changes until about eight years after changes have begun to take place. Mammograms are also not as effective in women with dense breasts, he added.
Halo screening, on the contrary, can help identify women at greatest risk years earlier, allowing for earlier intervention and increasing chances for survival. Halo looks for abnormal cells, years before they might turn into a lesion, and the test is effective in women as young as 25. – TradeArabia News Service