A clinical breast examination (CBE) with tactile sensing technology utilizes The SureTouch Visual Mapping System to screen for breast cancer. The SureTouch system, manufactured by the medical device company, Medical Tactile, Inc., is a new device that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 2005.
In addition to palpating the breast by hand, the physician or other healthcare professional touches lumps and/or visually abnormal areas on the breast with the SureTouch hand-held probe containing internal sensors. Mapping of abnormal areas in the breast and recording the quantitative (i.e., numerical) findings is displayed and stored electronically on the portable console of the SureTouch system. Based on the results of the SureTouch system, the physician or other healthcare professional can recommend follow-up diagnostic mammography or ultrasound, when appropriate.
Advantages of SureTouch are that it enhances the following capabilities of a CBE:
• Sensitivity (i.e. the ability to detect small lumps). For example, lumps as small as 5 cm can be detected with the probe of the SureTouch system.
• Specificity (i.e., the ability to determine whether or not a lump is cancerous)
• Objectivity (i.e., reliance on the knowledge and skill of the physician or other healthcare professional, rather than on quantitative data)
Commercial availability of the SureTouch Visual Mapping System provides hope to women for early diagnosis of breast cancer, a time when treatment is the most effective.
1. SABCS News. Medical Tactile, Inc., introduces first tactile sensing device for documenting clinical breast exams. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Accessed at www.prnewswire.com.