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June 11, 1982

Home device for breast cancer detection?

JAMA. 1982;247(22):3048-3049. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320470012007

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An experimental breast cancer screening device intended for home use is reported to have picked up mammary tumors as small as 2 mm in diameter in asymptomatic women.

"This is way before [two to ten years] the tumor becomes palpable or visualizable by mammogram," said cardiologist Harold L. Karpman, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine. He spoke at the Third International Congress of Thermology in Bath, England.

The "Breast Cancer Screening Indicator" he described is composed of two plastic disks containing heat-sensitive chemicals that are worn inside a woman's brassiere for 15 minutes each month so she can observe color changes that could indicate a breast abnormality.

In 179 symptomatic women who used the device under supervision of clinicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Brotman Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, and UCLA, 74 of 84 unilateral