Painless microwave
mammography

Overview

The world's first technology for detecting
cancer painlessly and with ultra-high accuracy

World’s first technology for accurate and pain-free detection of cancer, even in dense mammary glands

Conventional breast cancer diagnoses are extremely painful because of the pressure applied, and the cancer detection rate is also low.

“Microwave mammography,” as developed by IGS, employs a new method to solve these conventional problems by inversely analyzing cancer using microwave waveforms.

1Feature

Highly precise examination

Expected to be effective in detection in “dense mammary glands,” which have been difficult to detect with radiation-based mammography until now.

2Feature

Pain-free

It is not painful, as the examination does not require to place pressure on the breasts.

3Feature

Radiation not used

The strength of the radiowaves used in microwave mammography is extremely weak at 1/1000 those of a smartphone.

Issues

The problem with conventional breast cancer screening

Cancer is difficult to detect and its detection rate is about 60%.

X-ray mammography, which is widely used as the global standard, is not applicable to women with high density breasts (a type of breast with high levels of collagen fibers that support the breast shape, which is 79% of Asian women under 50 years of age).

While capturing the images of dense mammary glands using X-ray mammography, the fibers are displayed as whitish lumps. Because breast cancer is also displayed in whitish form, its detection becomes extremely difficult. In fact, the detection rate is said to only be approximately 60%.

Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and echocardiography can also be used in addition to X-ray mammography, they suffer issues in terms of contrast media and depth quantification.

Examination is extremely painful

X-ray mammography can be extremely painful, as it requires strong pressure to be applied to the breast during the examination, and this pain can serve as an obstacle for women undergoing breast cancer screenings.

Results of measurement using conventional mammography

Risk of exposure

The risk of exposure exists because X-ray mammography uses radiation. Hence, this test is not available for pregnant women, or potentially pregnant ones.

Necessity of using a contrast agent

In MRI scans, one needs to use contrast agents that have a small contrast between abnormal and normal on the image and a high potential for side effects.

Measuring equipment for convention X-ray mammography

Approach

Developing novel solutions

IGS Approach to Issues

Technology

World’s first computational theory created by IGS to inversely analyze cancer via microwave waveforms

The microwave mammography developed by IGS uses the strong reflection of microwaves off cancerous tissue in breasts. Breast cancer has a higher amount of water molecules compared with normal tissues, resulting in higher relative permittivity. Microwaves emitted to the breast reflect at the border of breast cancer, where the relative permittivity is high, so it becomes possible to detect breast cancer by measuring the reflection.

Microwaves penetrate to the greatest depths in the breast and are often reflected by breast cancer.Conventional techniques have failed to determine where the microwaves hit the cancer cells and identify the true nature of the same. However, with Professor Kenjiro Kimura elucidating the previously unsolved “inverse problem of wave scattering” in applied mathematics, it has become possible to inversely analyze cancer using waveforms.

Mechanism of microwave mammography
Inspection Method

The examination takes about 15 minutes and is painless, just tracing the breast surface.

Microwave mammography scans a probe containing an antenna that transmits and receives microwaves along the breast surface shape, scanning the entire breast area and then outputting the results on a computer. There is no need to pinch the breast during the examination, so it is painless and the examination takes about 15 minutes.

As the work consists of the simple task of tracing the breast surface, the same image is produced by anyone who does the work, which is very convenient.

Precise positional identification using 3D images

Microwave mammography analyzes the scattered microwaves and displays the position and size of cancerous tissue in the breast as a 3D image. As images with an extremely high contrast rate can be obtained, it promises to lead to a very high cancer detection rate.

Microwave mammography measurement scenario
Innovation

Advantages of IGS microwave mammography

IGS microwave mammography analyzes scattered microwaves and displays the location and size of cancerous tissue in the breast in a 3D form. Because the images obtained have an extremely high contrast ratio, a high cancer detection rate is promised. In addition, as there is no need to put pressure on the breasts during the examination, the mammography can be performed without any pain or need for exposure. A clinical trial to determine the efficacy and safety of our microwave mammography is currently underway at IGS.

Before

Conventional X-ray mammography

Image when measuring using conventional X-ray mammography
Pain

Yes

Exposure

Yes

Visualization method

Secondary

After

IGS microwave  mammography

Image of measurement results when using IGS microwave mammography
Pain

None

Exposure

None

Visualization method

3-D

Yes

Pain

None

Yes

Exposure

None

Secondary

Visualization method

3-D

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