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SPIE Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 19, 2010

October is observed around the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, salutes all those working toward a cure, in particular those whose work in the science and application of light has helped improved detection and treatment of the disease.

Breast cancer is among the most common and life-threatening cancers worldwide, and early detection has been important in raising the rate of recovery.

Researchers presenting papers at SPIE events in technologies such as optical tomography, photoacoustic imaging, and confocal microscopy continue to make significant advances in capturing increasingly accurate pictures of tissues inside the body, to aid both detection and treatment. As a result, cancerous or precancerous tissues are being identified earlier, and treatments are becoming more targeted and effective.

Advances in nanotechnology have improved the ability to track and treat cancer cells, including using nanoparticles to deliver drugs directly to targeted cells while avoiding nearby healthy tissues.

Each year, SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Medical Imaging assemble international experts whose work advances cancer detection and treatment, and SPIE Optics and Photonics convenes the largest nanotechnology and nanoengineering research symposium in the world. Every two years, researchers present at the SPIE/OSA European Conferences on Biomedical Optics.

New research is published in the SPIE Digital Library, containing more than 300,000 journal articles and conference proceedings papers, and the SPIE Newsroom, with more than 400 original researcher-authored papers added annually — among them an article published recently on “Reducing the radiation dose in molecular breast imaging.”

A monograph titled Recent Advances in Breast Imaging, Mammography, and Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Breast Cancer is among expert-authored and -edited books published by the SPIE Press.

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