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Experimental Validation of Medical Microwave Imaging for Breast Cancer Screening

Felício, J.F. ; Costa, J.R. ; Fernandes, C. A.

Experimental Validation of Medical Microwave Imaging for Breast Cancer Screening, Proc UTAustin | Portugal Workshop on Modeling and Simulations of Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer MSCDC, Lisbon, Portugal, Vol. , pp. - , November, 2017.

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At Instituto de Telecomunicações, Lisbon, we are developing and experimentally validating a prototype aiming at the early detection of breast cancer based on MWI. We envisioned the patient would lie on prone posture with the breast inserted in a cavity embedded in the examination bed. This posture reduces the influence of the chest movement due to the respiration and gives easy access to the breast. To this end, we use an anthropomorphic breast model that resembles the examination posture. Moreover, the breast tissues were mimicked by appropriate liquids.
The irregular shape of the realistic breast poses a significant challenge in MWI; however most experimental works found in the literature assume regular-shaped breast models. Also, we use a cylindrical antenna configuration around the breast, since it is easily adjustable to any breast size and avoids the use of complex mechanical parts. Lastly, our experimental prototype does not require immersing the breast in any coupling medium, unlike the majority of published works. We reckon this will make the exam more comfortable to the patient without sacrificing the overall imaging performance.
The demonstrator has been assembled and tested in our facilities. The results obtained in our experiments show very good precision, since the tumor was correctly detected. These results show the potential of MWI in breast cancer screening that may serve as an alternative to mammography, thus avoiding the use of hazardous radiation.