In response to new research by the University of Bristol that a robot could help diagnose breast cancer early, Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, head of research communications at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“Finding innovative ways to help diagnose breast cancer as early as possible is vital, and this new research is at an early stage of exploring if in future a robot device could potentially carry out a clinical breast exam, currently conducted by a healthcare professional.
“While this study is the first to explore using five sensors in a stand-alone device, it has not been tested on people and crucially there is no data suggesting it can detect new or unusual breast changes. Therefore, there’s a lot more we need to understand before we can consider whether or not this device could ever be used in medical settings.
“Right now we must focus on the vital tools we know help diagnose breast cancer sooner – attending breast screening appointments when invited and regular breast checking, as these give people the best chances of successful treatment, and lives potentially being saved from breast cancer.
“With 44% of UK women not checking their breasts regularly for possible signs and symptoms of breast cancer, we must do more to ensure that every woman feels empowered to regularly check and visit the GP with any concerns. This must go hand in hand with the government urgently prioritising and investing in the breast screening programme, which after years of neglect is at breaking point, with uptake at the lowest point in its history in England. This is crucial to guarantee women’s access to breast screening – both now and for the future.”