Low-Cost Handheld Device Could Painlessly Identify Skin Cancers in Seconds; Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology Use Millimeter-Wave Imaging to Potentially Slash Rate of Unnecessary Biopsies

Skin biopsies are no fun: doctors carve away small lumps of tissue for laboratory testing, leaving patients with painful wounds that can take weeks to heal. That’s a price worth paying if it enables early cancer treatment. However, in recent years, aggressive diagnostic efforts have seen the number of biopsies grow approximately four times faster than the number of cancers detected, with about 30 benign lesions now biopsied for every case of skin cancer that’s found. Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology are now developing a low-cost handheld device that could cut the rate of unnecessary biopsies in half and give dermatologists and other frontline physicians easy access to laboratory-grade cancer diagnostics. “We aren’t trying to get rid of biopsies,” said Negar Tavassolian, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of the Bio-Electromagnetics Laboratory at Stevens. “But we do want to give doctors additional tools and help them to make better decisions.”

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