Light Imaging and Breast Cancer

It currently takes several days to get results from breast tissue removed during surgery. This may mean a follow-up surgery will be needed because surgeons dont know if they completely removed the tumor until the samples are tested. Testing results come days after the surgery is done so surgery may be performed again to get any leftover cancer cells.

A new light-imaging scan has been introduced that uses light rays from a special part of the light spectrum. The terahertz region may help doctors be sure they have removed all the cancer cells related to the tumor they have removed. This cuts out the need a second surgery because they have the information they need immediately.

Terahertz Lighting

What is terahertz light? It is found between the microwave and infrared portions of the spectrum. Researchers discovered that terahertz light can distinguish between normal breast tissue and tissue that is in early stage cancer, and tumors. This is an exciting discovery!

Terahertz lighting can give the surgeon the tissue analysis he needs during the operation. After receiving the immediate results he can decide if more tissue needs to be removed.

Having the information during surgery can help the surgeon discover if a more radical approach should be used. This could aid in pushing up breast cancer survival rates and cause less discomfort for the patient. There is a benefit to not having repeat surgeries. The body has less chance of fighting off infection during each successive surgery.


Anytime there is a surgical procedure done, there is always the chance of infection at the surgical site. Fewer surgeries mean fewer chances for infection.

Surgery may include excessive bleeding which further weakens a patient already suffering from cancer. The bodys immune system is affected when it has to recover from multiple illnesses and surgeries.

The Radiological Society of North America was happy to give this news release to the general public. It provides more hope that breast cancer can be successfully treated and may be erased within the next few years.

Light imaging will be able to find out if women still have breast cancer cells in their body and they can be removed immediately. This allows the breast cancer patient a better chance of cancer remission and less chance of cancer recurrence.

Early tests were performed on 22 women who were having breast cancer surgery. The terahertz lighting was completely effective in discovering healthy breast tissue from tumor tissue, and cells that were considered precancerous. This is another remarkable step in breast cancer treatment.

Funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and other private sectors is actively working to find new and better treatments for breast cancer and early detection.