With instinct: How the Blind, the breast cancer prevention change

With the special sense of touch of blind workers, a woman doctor from Duisburg wants to make breast cancer screening better. A study shows that their use has been proven. But there are limits.

Filiz Demir is blind, but with their hands and a lot of patience, you can recognize what might be overlooked by Doctors, sometimes under time pressure: even the smallest changes in the breast tissue of their patients, behind breast cancer. Feel your particularly sensitive and trained fingers, the tips of an abnormality, the doctor can then look by means of ultrasound or mammography more accurate.

The method of Demir works, is now available for the first time evaluated as to their effectiveness. The result: The so-called Medical Tactile examiners (MTUs) of breast cancer screening as often abnormalities in the tissue, which then must be examined closely as the doctor. "Do both together, you can detect abnormalities in the palpation, more often than the doctor alleine", Michael Lux of the women’s clinic of the University of Erlangen says.

Demirs hands migrate your two Breasts

The patient on the bed in front of tactile investigator Filiz Demir familiar to the method. The 43-year-old Daniela Frankenthal is a year for early detection. Demirs hands from Hiking then inch of both her Breasts. Orientation of the Blind, two self-adhesive strips of paper, turn the chest into a kind of coordinate system.

Lux examined the effectiveness of the method in the case of a total of 395 women and the results of its pilot study in the journal "Breast Care" published. In women without prior breast surgery, the use of have proven his conclusion. Many Doctors have this doubt yet, maybe because they feared that their own work could be regarded as less valuable.

In 82 percent of all non-voroperierten cases MTUs clarification noted the needy tissue abnormalities correctly, without any significant difference to the Doctors. It combined the accuracy of both, was 89 percent. "Greater uncertainty prevailed in patients with prior Brustoperation" – in the Erlanger breast center, the majority of the sample.

"With the often scarred tissue, the buttons were not as well clear as the specialized Ärzte", Lux explains. Conversely, he believes that the MTUs in the early detection could have in the everyday practice of many gynecologists, the nose clearly in front. Many colleagues have worked here, in the routine case, under great pressure of time and cost. A tactile examination by a visually impaired helper will take a minimum of 30 minutes, the cost of 46,50 Euro 26 health insurance, now nationwide. dpa

No false hopes

Prior to an Overestimation of the method to other colleagues warn that It is important to consider that MTUs achieved with a half-hour investigation to similar good results as the doctor in just a few minutes, says Sherko Kümmel, Director of the breast center at the clinics Essen-Mitte. Although he was happy about the attention for the topic of breast cancer screening, "it should, however, be never raised false hopes that the probe under investigation are better than what the medicine leistet&quot so far;.

The human sense of touch, regardless of whether Blind, or experienced Physicians – is not equivalent to the other methods of investigation. "Important for an improvement of the benefit would be, for example, the ultrasound for other at-risk groups, such as in women with very dense glandular tissue to finanzieren", calls for cumin. Such a cost of only some health insurance so far. A mammogram is typically only for patients over 50 years, to prescribed performance catalog.

Also very sensitive fingertips could replace neither the mammogram nor the ultrasound says Tanja Fehm, University hospital Düsseldorf and the Association of Gynecological Oncology. It considers the work of the MTUs, however, a valuable additional service – "just for patients, and the often shame-encrusted breast examination. As it is for some, easier if the Blind on this important task übernehmen".

Most common cancer in women in Germany

Breast cancer with approximately 70,000 new cases annually, is the most common cancer in women in Germany – and meets Younger: According to the centre for cancer registry data, almost 30 percent of the Affected at diagnosis are under 55 years old, an age at which other cancers in terms of numbers hardly play a role.

"Life-threatening, not the Tumor in the breast. Dangerous he is when he is in the body scattered hat", Frank Hoffmann, a gynecologist and founder of Discovering Hands, the company, the MTUs is formed and the offer in the world wants to spread says. Over ten years ago, the idea was to improve from his point of view, optimization of detection worthy earlier at the push of a investigation by the special qualities low-vision came to him.

He looks at the trained forces, the potential to feel very small tissue changes: "For me, it’s cherry core size. Since many tumors have spread." Superfluous the do his medical work in no way. The MTUs of keys and to report to the doctor, this is a rating of the finding. "I see the MTUs as a diagnostic Instrument", Hoffmann emphasized. You are not a cold apparatus, but the people who do the patients well.

This is reflected also in the study: Almost all of the patients gave to Protocol, that you would have found the investigation to be positive and recommend. Physicians Lux combines the hope of the probe studies, other effects may arise: if it Were possible to encourage women to take regular early detection than in the past, it would be a major success.

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