ABOUT BREAST CANCER: Breast cancer is a type of cancer in which cells in the breast become abnormal and grow and divide uncontrollably, eventually forming a mass called a tumor. Some tumors are benign, meaning that they do not invade other types of tissue, although if they become big enough, they can interfere with some bodily functions, such as the flow of blood or urine. Malignant tumors have cells that can invade nearby tissues. When a cancer "metastasizes," cells from the original tumor break off and travel to other parts of the body via the blood or lymph systems. More than 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the milk ducts within the breast. The next most common site is in the glandular tissue that makes the milk.
Breast cancer research has discovered a promising new method to screen for breast cancer. NeoMatrix screening, better known as the HALO Breast Pap Test, can detect abnormal cells years before a lump can be detected by mammography or self examination.
How it works:
The NeoMatrix HALO™ Breast Cancer Test is the only fully automated, noninvasive
NAF collection system designed for use in the primary care office. Its three main components include:
Patient Interface Cassette with fluid reservoir and adjustable breast cups
Disposable Sample Collection Cups
The HALO™ Breast Cancer Test incorporates a simple 5-step cycle.
The HALO Breast Cancer Test allows a physician's office staff to perform noninvasive NAF collection in about five minutes. The system incorporates heat, suction and compression in
a single, fully automated cycle.
With the HALO™ Breast Cancer Test, adjustable cups are fitted to the woman's breasts. The test cycle is then started and the system automatically warms the breasts, gently massages them, and applies light suction to bring nipple aspirate fluid to the surface of the nipple. The nipple aspirate fluid is then collected, placed into a standard liquid cytology vial, and sent to a cytology laboratory for analysis. The entire procedure is well-tolerated by patients, with no anesthetic required.
New Disposable Sample Collection Cups are inserted into the Adjustable Breast Cups for each patient.
Step 2: Preparing the Breasts
An alcohol swab is used to cleanse the nipples and soften the small keratin plugs located at the opening of the milk ducts. The Adjustable Breast Cups are adjusted to fit the patient's breast size and are placed on the breasts.
Step 3: Suction and Heating and Compression Cycles
The HALO console initiates gentle suction (similar to that of a breast pump) on both breasts. Simultaneously with suction, warmth is applied and then a massage is initiated.
Step 4: Fluid Samples Obtained
Once the cycle is completed, Breast Cups are removed from the patient and any NAF sample is collected with a swab (included), placed into a liquid cytology vial, and sent to a cytology lab for examination.
*NOTE: Not all women will produce a NAF sample. Lack of NAF in the ducts has clinical significance, as absence of fluid production indicates reduced relative risk for breast disease. (Wrensch et al, JNCI, 2001)
Step 5: Removal and Disposal of Disposable Sample Collection Cups
Disposable Sample Collection Cups are removed and disposed of at the end of each HALO™ Breast Cancer Test.