Breast Cancer Detection: Project Information

Microwave breast cancer detection techniques have been proposed as a possible complementary technology to the standard methods of x-ray mammography (for screening), and ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (for diagnosis). Microwave methods offer the potential advantages of low cost, comfortable scans, without the ionizing radiation that mammography uses. Microwave-based breast imaging systems operate based on the inherent contrast in the dielectric properties between healthy and malignant tissues over the given frequency range.

The focus of our current work is on a clinical prototype for microwave breast screening via multistatic radar using time-domain measurements. Radar techniques for breast imaging aim to reconstruct a map of electromagnetic scattering within the breast, instead of a complete map of tissue properties. We have also designed anatomically and electrically realistic breast models ("phantoms") with which we can test the system under various scenarios. Our system has been tested thoroughly with the phantoms, and we will soon proceed to optimize the data collection system in a clinical setting.

We investigate aspects related to breast imaging and detection that include:
  • experimental studies
  • breast phantoms
  • numerical simulations
  • MRI-derived numerical models
  • antenna and array design
  • pulse-shaping circuitry
  • signal processing
  • imaging algorithms
  • classification and machine learning techniques
  • measurement noise compensation
  • SAR and safety
  • clinical trials