FAQ

What age can you start getting a Sure Touch Breast exam?

Just as manual breast exams are not affected by age, SureTouch is effective for younger women or older women. Young women of any age can be screened if they have concerns. SureTouch is also perfect for creating a baseline with their first test since each exam is recorded and stored for future reference. This means more peace of mind for her as even small changes in a women’s breast health may be documented and observed.

Does SureTouch work if I have dense breast tissue?  

Yes. Breast density is what mammogram measures, but SureTouch measures tissue hardness or elasticity.  They are two different properties.  If a breast lump is detected, SureTouch uses your normal breast tissue elasticity as a baseline to compare the hardness. In other words, SureTouch can tell the difference between your normal dense breast tissue and something else. Mammography is not always able to do so which can result in false positives. Please read your consent forms carefully before having a mammogram. They explain exactly this fact! (See California Breast Density Law)

Does SureTouch work if I have breast implants?  

Yes. Plastic surgeons love SureTouch! Since breast implants are placed below the breast tissue and SureTouch doesn’t require compression of the breast any palpable lesions in the breast tissue can be detected without risk of rupturing the implants.

How does SureTouch work with Fibrocystic Breast Tissue?

Fibrocystic and glandular tissue can be soft or hard depending on the hormonal cycle.  SureTouch determines the hardness of the tissue and compares that with the surrounding tissue.  Cycling women with hard lumpy tissue can come in for a 2nd exam in 2 weeks so that we can isolate lumps due to hormonal changes. Re-tests due to hormonal changes are done at no charge.

How small of a lump can SureTouch detect?

While 80 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancers are found by women through their sense of touch during regular self-exams[1], the average size lump found through such self-exam is approximately 2.5cm and the average size lump found by trained medical clinicians using palpation is approximately 1cm. SureTouch is FDA cleared to document palpable lesions and is far more sensitive than human touch. SureTouch can therefore detect smaller lesions than a medical clinician can.

What are calcifications? It says Sure Touch can’t detect these?

Calcifications are calcium deposits in the breast ducts and are detected by mammograms There has criticism about over treating these as cancer since 80% of them do not progress into cancer. 

How is Sure Touch different than an ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that are sent out into the breast and measure what bounces back. This can identify masses but often cannot differentiate them. As a result, ultrasound has a high rate of false positives. The results must be interpreted by a radiologist and sent to the patient at a latter time. Ultrasound is very effective in identifying fluid filled cysts.

A FDA-cleared breakthrough technology, SureTouch is a safe, accurate breast examination that enables all areas of the breast to be examined while offering immediate digitized results for you and your doctor. Originally developed at Harvard, SureTouch measures the reactive pressures generated by a cancerous tissue, which is more than 100 times harder than normal tissue. The device consists of a hand-held transceiver that is gently moved across the entire breast and underarm area and produces ultra-sensitive, multi-dimensional color images, which are delivered to a computer screen. With SureTouch, the clinician, patient and doctor can view the size, shape, hardness and location of suspicious masses in real time. Women have the answers they need immediately.

What are the differences between Sure Touch and Breast Thermography?

Breast thermography is a digital infrared picture that reveals the heat and vascular patterns of the breast tissue.  These patterns change when a tumor starts to grow.  New blood vessels required by the tumor to feed nutrients and oxygen, don’t grow like normal vessels.  Their abnormal patters and generated heat is detectable by thermography. It also requires interpretation by a radiologist.

SureTouch is a safe, painless, radiation-free digital breast exam.   This breast lesion documentation system utilized tactile sensing technology.  The device captures and enhances the sense of touch.  Sense of touch accounts for 80% of cancers found today.  

Will my doctor accept this in place of a mammogram?

The breast exam that you have is your choice. Over the years, we found that women love SureTouch because it is pain free, radiation free and provides immediate results. Unlike mammogram, it is effective with younger women and even with older women with fibrous breast tissue. Because SureTouch is so safe, women are encouraged to get examined frequently.

The standard of care currently recommends screening mammograms starting at 40-50 years of age. We will provide the doctor with all the backup information needed to support him/her with your SureTouch results. Your doctor may choose to suggest that you have a mammogram since that is the current “standard of care” but the final decision is yours.  

Is Sure Touch covered by insurance?

SureTouch exams do not have a separate reimbursement code for the physician to claim on an insurance form.

What is the error % of Sure Touch?

SureTouch displays the breast tissue as it scans over the skin.   If a lesion of any size or hardness is found it is displayed for review.   The percentage of palpable lesions undetected would depend on the quality of the nurse performing the exam not on the device itself.   If the lesion was smaller than 5mm in size it would not be detected.   Micro calcifications are also not detected by SureTouch.


[1] http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/womens_health_issues/breast_disorders/breast_cancer.html