New product will help increase women's breast awareness and
may lead to earlier breast cancer detection
TORONTO, May 28 /CNW/ - A new handheld device provides Canadian women
with an extra dimension in breast self-examinations. Now available in Canada,
breastlight(TM) works by shining a bright but harmless red light through
breast tissue so women can see details inside their breasts and spot any
changes early. Manufactured by UK-based PWB Health Ltd., breastlight is
intended for at-home use and aims to help women become more familiar with how
their breasts look and feel. Regular use may lead to earlier detection of
Intended to be used as part of an ongoing breast awareness routine,
breastlight allows women to see what is normal for their breasts and identify
changes over time. When women use breastlight, they will see veins and other
blood vessels as dark lines in their breasts, which are totally normal. This
internal view will become as familiar as the look and feel of their breasts on
the outside. If a woman detects dark spots, shadows or any other changes in
her breasts, she should speak to her doctor. Breastlight is extremely easy to
use. To be effective, it should be used in a dark room with a water-based
lubricant applied to the skin so that the device glides easily.
"More than 400 women across Canada are diagnosed with breast cancer each
week and one in nine women are expected to develop breast cancer in their
lifetime," says Dr. Sarah Burnett, consultant radiologist, King Edward VII
Hospital, London, England. "Breastlight has the potential to help detect
abnormalities earlier and make women feel more secure about how they take care
of their bodies." A former breast cancer patient who had a mastectomy and
breast reconstructive surgery, Dr Burnett is a firm supporter of breast
self-examinations and of the role breastlight can play in helping women become
more breast aware.
"I believe that breast self-examinations can help women play a more
active role in caring for their health, especially by becoming more attentive
to, and aware of, changes in their breasts,"(1) writes Dr. Johanne Blais,
Chair of the Quebec College of Family Physicians' Board of Directors and
Coordinator of Quebec's Breast Cancer Screening Program (Quebec City).
Breastlight is not intended to replace a clinical breast examination or
mammogram. Rather, it is a valuable personal aid that supports and encourages
women to be breast aware. It has also been shown to provide some women with
the necessary additional confidence to take an active role in monitoring their
Women in the United Kingdom who have been using breastlight since
November 2008 have found that it is easy to use and has become a natural part
of their regular breast awareness routine; it gives them more confidence when
they are checking their breasts. Breastlight results have been extremely
favourable with women that have large or lumpy breasts who find breast self
Breastlight is a clinically proven device and has undergone extensive
clinical and market testing. One study of 1,087 women, conducted in July 2008
and commissioned by PWB Health Ltd., assessed how breastlight was being used
by women and how it affected their attitude to breast awareness and breast
screening(2). The study revealed breastlight encouraged women to conduct more
frequent breast self examinations (an increase from 44 per cent to 76 per
cent); decreased the rate of non-checkers (from 34 per cent to eight per
cent); and that 80 per cent of women reported they were more confident in
their breast self-examinations after using breastlight. Of the 1,087 women, 14
(1.3 per cent) consulted a doctor because they were concerned by the outcome
of their breast self-examination. Of these, three have had mammograms and one
was subsequently diagnosed with the early stages breast cancer. She is
recovering well today.
Another study conducted in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Edinburgh Royal
Infirmary and the University of Aberdeen showed breastlight detected 70 of 74
diagnosed tumours and 50 of 55 benign diseases in the 129 women studied.(3)
Research continues today with additional results expected in late 2009.
"Research shows that using breastlight gives women more confidence in
their breast health and will encourage more frequent self-examination," said
Steve Soden, Managing Director, PWB Health Ltd. "It is important to see
breastlight as a complement to mammogram screening and also to general breast
Breastlight was invented by Dr. David Watmough BSc, PhD, MIEE, CEng,
FIOA, a specialist in medical imaging who has published more than 100
scientific papers, many of them related to breast cancer. Recent advances in
LED technology have enabled PWB Health Ltd. to manufacture Dr. Watmough's
breastlight at an affordable price for use by women in the home.
Breastlight will initially be available exclusively at the Rexall(TM)
family of pharmacies across Canada including Rexall and Rexall Pharma Plus.
The suggested retail price for breastlight is $149.99 and the suggested retail
price for breastlight water-based lubricant is $9.99. Consumers who want more
information about breastlight can go to www.breastlight.ca or call the
consumer helpline from 9 am to 7 pm at 1-866-895-8839.
About PWB Health
Breastlight is manufactured and distributed by PWB Health, of Dumbarton,
Scotland. The company was established specifically to launch breastlight,
which was the brainchild of Dr David Watmough (BSc, PhD, MIEE, CEng, FIOA), an
eminent scientist who has published over 100 papers - many of them related to
breast cancer and the effects of ultrasound on biological materials.
Dr Watmough has had a distinguished career as a medical physicist,
latterly as Professor of Physics in Kuwait University's Faculty of Medicine,
including five years as Chairman of the Department of Radiology, Consultant
Physicist to the Ministry of Public Health and consultant to the Kuwait Cancer
Control Centre. Previously, Dr Watmough was Senior Lecturer and Head of the
Ultrasonic and Infrared laboratory in the department of Biomedical Physics and
Bio-Engineering of Aberdeen University, Principal Physicist to Grampian Health
Board and for 10 years was Chief Executive and a founding director of Aurora
Breastlight has been awarded Gold in an International Excellence in
Design Competition 2009, created by Appliance Design magazine. This follows a
series of accolades for the brand. In 2008, breastlight won the Breakthrough
Product Award in the Innovation and Design Excellence Awards 2008. In 2007,
PWB Health Ltd, developers of breastlight, won a Scottish Enterprise Life
Science award for most promising Life Science Company.
Breastlight is approved by Health Canada as a class one medical device.
(1) Blais J. Breast self-examination. Is it really so dangerous?
Editorial. Can Fam Physician. 2002;48:1038-9.
For further information:
For further information: to receive high-resolution images, schedule an
interview or try a breastlight device, please contact: Zoey Fiksel, Sylvia
Sicuso, APEX Public Relations Inc., (416) 924-4442 ext. 279, 255,