|ECR 2018 / C-1390|
|Sensitivity Assessment of a Microwave Apparatus for Breast Cancer Detection|
Aims and objectives
Microwave imaging has received increasing attention in the last decades, in particular for its breast cancer detection applications, encouraged by considerable difference between dielectric properties of malignant and normal tissues at microwave frequencies. Speciﬁcally, as shown in [1, 2], a signiﬁcant contrast between healthy breast tissue and malignant breast tissue is present; this contrast is shown to be up to a factor of 5 in conductivity and permittivity. Meanwhile, newer studies suggest the existence of this contrast only between fatty and malignant breast tissues, and a lower contrast (as low as 10% in dielectric properties) between healthy ﬁbro glandular and malignant tissues [3-5].
Recently, a novel microwave apparatus (X-rays free mammogram, UBT Srl, Perugia, IT) has been constructed, tested and validated . The apparatus, shown in Fig 1, operates in air, with 2 antennas, and uses a Huygens Principle based algorithm [7, 8] to generate images, which are homogeneity maps of tissues' dielectric properties. Huygens Principle based algorithm is able to capture the differences in dielectric properties (dielectric constant and/or conductivity) and discriminate between varying tissues, or various conditions of tissues, and depict this contrast through the resulting ﬁnal image. For clarity, it is vital to emphasize that this apparatus is completely safe for both patients and operators, as it does not emit any ionizing radiation. In addition, the apparatus does not require any breast smashing.
Sensitivity of the apparatus is quantified here, after performing microwave imaging on 8 healthy and 12 non-healthy breasts (healthy and non-healthy breasts have been classified through a radiologist study).
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