The new breast-checking glove is said to be as effective as traditional breast cancer screening in detecting lumps
A new glove that helps women check their breasts for cancerous lumps has been launched in the UK.
The BE gLOVE is as effective as traditional breast cancer screening in detecting breast lumps, its manufacturer claims.
Made from soft ultra-thin polyurethane, the £25 glove is said to reduce friction between the skin and fingers, allowing women to undertake smooth self-examination movements.
It may also stop breast lumps being pushed away by the fingers - enabling the detection of even the smallest lumps at an early, treatable stage.
In a clinical study at the University of Rome, women who performed a breast self-examination using the glove apparently detected 100 per cent of the breast lumps identified by mammography, while those using their bare hands detected only 50 per cent of the lumps.
IC Pharma, the company behind the glove, said it could help the millions of UK women who have no idea how to perform breast self-examination.
But it stressed the glove should not be used in place of mammography.
A survey undertaken by the company identified that most women only check their breasts two to three times a year. And more than had no idea how to undertake self-examination of their breasts.
‘At the age when women should include breast self-examinations as an essential part of their routine in taking care of their health, it is staggering to see that 55 per cent of women do not know what they are doing,’ said Karen Winterhalter, a director at the company.
More than 88 per cent of those surveyed apparently did not realise pushing on their breasts with their fingers could mean lumps are being pushed away.
Professor Stefano Varardi, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the University of Rome who conducted the clinical trial, said breast awareness was exceptionally important, as early detection of malignant lumps can significantly improve survival rates.
‘Whilst we know that 9 out 10 lumps found in the breast are not cancerous, it is extremely important for women to check their breasts regularly, so it becomes part of their routine in caring for themselves,’ added Ms Winterhalter.
The company behind the glove says it could help the millions of UK women who have no idea how to perform breast self-examination
But breast cancer charities have condemned the glove.
While acknowledging that regular breast checking can be crucial to early diagnosis, when the chances of successful treatment are greatest, Mia Rosenblatt, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said:
‘Evidence that devices of this nature can improve detection of breast tumours is very limited, so we urge women not to use tools such as the ‘BE gLOVE’ as a substitute for mammograms or for being breast aware.
'Athough there is no official guidance about how often you should check your breasts for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, it's important that you get into the routine of checking your breasts so that you notice any changes as quickly as possible.
'Also, not all lumps are cancerous - they may be benign cysts or overgrowth of tissue. But it is always important to report any changes to your GP.'
Sally Greenbrook, from the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, added: 'It is so important that women are not misled when it comes to checking their breasts.
'We do not advocate the use of these gloves and we would like to reassure women that there is no need to spend money on products like these.
'The best way for women to be breast aware is to know their own breasts. It’s as simple as TLC - Touch your breasts, Look for any changes and Check anything unusual out with your doctor.'
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2229182/BE-gLOVE-Controversial-device-claims-effective-finding-lumps-regular-screening.html#ixzz2BZP5rGz6
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