Soon, Oz women to get breast cancer 'hair x-ray' test

Melbourne, Breast CancerMay 12: A new test that diagnoses breast cancer by X-raying a woman's hair has been developed, and it will be available in Australia later this year.

Sydney-based company Fermiscan has developed the test, and have already tested it on 2,000 Aussie women.

Based on the discovery that breast cancer changes the molecular structure of hair, the test has a success rate of 75 per cent, something that Managing director David Young said was still "comparatively accurate" vis-a-vis the mammogram.

"Fermiscan plans to progress to commercialisation in Australia by the end of the year, which is exciting news," the Daily Telegraph quoted Mr Young, as saying.

It has been designed to be a less painful and invasive method of detecting breast cancer, and can be used by women of all ages.

However, the company says that hair damage perming, dyeing and straightening could mean that a positive diagnosis might not be available.

Mr Young added that the success rate is expected to significantly improve.

"The accuracy of the test in a commercial use is expected to significantly improve as women will prepare by ensuring they have undamaged new growth of hair for testing," he said.

He also revealed that the test would be further refined in a pilot trial involving the Ashford Cancer Centre in Adelaide and hospitals in Italy and Japan. (ANI)