A device designed to help women identify abnormalities in their own breasts is set to soon become available in 100 CVS pharmacies in the US. The Pink Luminous Breast device – designed by SilkPro – uses red LED lights to light-up the breast tissue and visualize darker areas with increased blood supply which may be indicative of malignant growths.
“We are extremely happy to announce this collaboration with CVS as we continue to expand in the marketplace,” said Marylin Dans, founder of SilkPro USA. “This amazing device has given me the opportunity of empowering women to be proactive about their breast health. It is my goal to establish Pink Luminous Breast as a household name, allowing women to live more fulfilled lives through better health awareness.”
The company boasts that the device can be used by all women, including those who have had surgeries such as breast augmentation or prior mastectomy. The device can even be used by men, about 2,550 of whom will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Creation of the take-home breast screening device was inspired by Dans’ own experiences with breast cancer. She was just 17-years-old when she found a lump in her breast which was later diagnosed as a benign tumor. Her interest in breast health was renewed when her sister-in-law underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
While SilkPro is confident that their at-home screening device can help women become more familiar with their breast health, the company stresses that the Pink Luminous Breast device is not a diagnostic. Women should still receive regular mammograms when using the device to ensure that any suspicious, potentially-cancerous lumps can be caught early.
“We don’t want to make claims,” said Dans. “It’s not to be a substitute for anything you’re supposed to do. On the contrary, it’s to use in conjunction with, not in lieu of, a mammogram.”
While the Pink Luminous Breast is approved by the FDA, it falls under the category of Class I devices, which are those considered to have the least risk to the user. Still, some are concerned that use of the device could push women to worry unnecessarily or seek out mammograms before they turn 40, which is the recommended age that most women begin to undergo the procedure.
“My concern is that women will use this test and either not undergo necessary mammography screening because they did not find an abnormality or they find an abnormality that is not cancer and they undergo an unnecessary biopsy,” Dr. Nicole Saphier, the head of breast imaging at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Monmouth, told Racked.
The device will be available in 100 CVS locations by the beginning of August for $158.99. If all goes well and the Pink Luminous Breast device proves to be popular in the test CVS stores, the company says the device could become available in as many as 500 pharmacies across the US.