For women, mammograms are a sometimes uncomfortable, but necessary, annual ritual. But this procedure doesn’t always provide accurate results, and it exposes women to X-rays. In a study appearing in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, scientists report that they have developed a non-invasive “disease screening pill” that can make cancerous tumors light up when exposed to near-infrared light in mice without using radiation. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society. Mammograms are X-rays of breast tissue that can provide information about a lump’s location and size, but they can’t distinguish between cancerous and benign growths. As a result, up to one in three healthy women undergo unnecessary breast cancer treatments and procedures, according to a recent study by researchers in Denmark.
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