Breastlight™ Breast Awareness Self-Examination Aid
Breastlight™ is a breast self-examination aid designed for earlier detection of changes arising in breast tissues. Breastlight™ should be used as an additional element of the normal breast awareness self-examination routine.
Developed and manufactured in the UK by the PWB Health, the Breastlight™ has been extensively tested in Well Woman clinics, universities and by individual users at home. Breastlight™ is a Class 1 Medical Device and is registered with the MHRA, the UK healthcare products regulator. Use of the Breastlight™ is entirely harmless and side-effects free.
Safe and easy to use, the Breastlight™ shines a powerful red light through the breast tissues, helping you to see the details of the tissues inside. Used as an aid to your breast self-examination routine, the Breastlight™ makes you become more aware of your breasts and being able to differentiate the normal tissue status from any potentially abnormal tissue changes taking place.
Health professionals recommend that you routinely examine your breasts and be aware how they normally look and feel. Noticing changes and finding abnormalities early can lead to the earlier detection of breast cancer and ultimately save your life.
Breastlight™ helps you see inside your breasts. It helps you detect and identify abnormalities that cannot be seen or felt otherwise. Potential abnormalities in the breast tissue show as dark spots and shadows and once you become aware of their existence, you should see your doctor urgently to have them checked immediately.
Suitable for women of all ages, the Breastlight™ is designed for regular home use as an additional aid to manual breast self-examination that you should be performing routinely. It is important to understand, that the Breastlight™ is not a diagnostic tool or a substitute for mammogram screening or a replacement for general breast awareness examination, which involves both visual and palpable (i.e. looking and feeling) breast inspection. The Breastlight™ is an aid that improves your breast self-awareness and helps you to know your breasts better.
Breastlight™ emits harmless visible red light and is safe and easy to use as often as you need. Utilising the touch sensor technology, the red light is only at full power, when the lens is in contact with the skin. The Breastlight™ allows you to see the tissues inside your breasts and helps you to know your breast better. Over a period of weeks, you become familiar with the normal patterns of blood vessels and location of small glands inside your breast tissues. Your growing breast awareness will make it possible for you to notice any arising changes (i.e. dark spots or shadows) and seek immediate medical opinion. Prompt noticing of changes can lead to the earlier detection of breast cancer and can ultimately save your life.
Using the Breastlight™
Breastlight™ is an aid to manual breast self-examination that should be performed routinely by all adult women. The features of the Breastlight™ include the following:
- touch sensor technology that switches the light to full power only when in contact with the skin
- adjustable brightness for different breast sizes and breast tissue densities
- integral rechargeable battery
- battery light indicator
- ‘days since last use’ indicator
Breastlight™ is designed to maximise transmission of the red light through the breast tissues. The red light produces optimum contrast for maximum internal tissue details to be seen. When the red light hits the blood vessel, the light is absorbed by the haemoglobin in the red blood cells, making the vessel appear as a dark line. Some early malignancies are characterised by increased blood flow to the area of the malignancy with many new small blood vessels forming – this is a process called angiogenesis. The increase in the numbers of small vessels may cause a dark shadow or darkened area to appear, when the Breastlight™ shines its red light at the affected area.
As an aid to manual breast self-examination, the Breastlight™ may highlight potential abnormalities that require medical opinion. However, the Breastlight™ is not a diagnostic device, but a helpful breast self-awareness aid! Breastlight™ can be used by women of all ages, including women after lumpectomies and women with breast implants. Use of the Breastlight™ is contraindicated during breastfeeding.
Breastlight™ is powered by an integral rechargeable battery and has a battery life indicator to alert you to the status of the battery and the need to recharge it. As the effectiveness of the Breastlight™ depends on the strength of the red light, always make sure that the battery is fully charged, because if the battery power is too low, the red light will cut out. To conserve the battery power, the Breastlight™ powers off automatically after 1 minute of non-use.
Using the Breastlight™ step by step
- For the best effects of the Breastlight™, find a dark room to carry out your self-examination. The darker the room is, the easier it will be to use the Breastlight™.
- Ensure that there is a mirror available for you to use during the self-examination.
- Sit or stand comfortably in front of the mirror.
- Lubricate the surface of the breast skin with a water-based lubricant, so that the Breastlight™ glides over the skin effortlessly.
- Turn the room light off and wait till your eyes get used to the dark.
- Turn the Breastlight™ on. It will switch on at a low light level and the light will increase to full power, when the lens comes to contact with the skin.
- Hold the Breastlight™ under one of your breast and push if firmly against the skin. Endeavour to create a good light seal, making sure that the light cannot escape from under the breast. The red light shines into the breast and the breast suddenly appears to be brighter. At this point, you will be able to see clearly the dark lines of the blood vessels in the silhouette of your breast.
- Adjust the brightness of the red light to suit your needs. For instance, the larger or the firmer and denser the breasts are, the higher the brightness of the red light is required to achieve optimum visibility of the inner breast tissues. If the light is too low, you will not see the veins in your breasts. If the light is too high, the fine details may not be seen clearly. Experiment with the brightness to find the optimum level for you! You will find helpful illustrated advice in the user instructions.
- Move the Breastlight™ around to see all parts of your beasts. Begin with one breast and after you are satisfied that you have competed its examination, move to the other breast and repeat.
- Ensure that you include the under arms and the areas high up on your chest going towards the shoulders in the examination.
- Your Breastlight™ features a ‘days since last used’ indicator that can help you to apply the Breastlight™ alongside your manual breast self-examination as frequently as you deem right or as advised by medical professionals.
- Breastlight™ is easy to use and you will soon become proficient in its application for greater breast awareness and reassuring confidence of the breast health.
If you have any questions or worries about the Breastlight™ or use of the Breastlight™, please call us on the Freecall number 0808 168 5522 (UK customers only) or + 44 1835 864866 (International customers). The line is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday (excluding days designated for Bank Holidays).
What to look for during the self-examination with the Breastlight™
- The illustrated user instructions include example pictures of what to look out for during use of the Breastlight™.
- If you notice any dark spots or shadowy areas, it is important to seek your doctor’s opinion and advice immediately.
- Remember that not all changes and abnormalities are cancerous! The key action, if you notice anything suspicious or out of norm, is to see your doctor straight away.
Breastlight™ Breast Self-Examination Aid
Questions & Answers
- Q: I have lumpy breasts. Would I see a lot of dark shadows or dark spots, when using Breastlight™?
A: It depends. When the lumps are fibrous, fatty or fluid filled cysts with no blood present in the cysts, no shadows would be seen. When however, you see a shadow in the breast, it could be a blood-filled cyst, bruise or a growth. Such lumps should be checked by your doctor or nurse.
- Q: Does Breastlight™ work with implants?
A: Yes, Breastlight™ works very well with implants. It is difficult for women with implants to check their breasts, so Breastlight™ is an invaluable aid to breast awareness for them.
- Q: I have very dark skin, will Breastlight™ work on me?
A: Breastlight works well on ALL skin colours.
- Q: I have extremely large breasts, can I use Breastlight™?
A: It may help, if you get a close friend or partner to help you hold your breast during self-examination with the Breastlight™, but there is no breast size or shape limit or restriction for using this device.
- Q: I had a breast reduction, can I use Breastlight™?
A: Yes, you can use Breastlight™. You will notice the scar tissue appears thicker and depending on how long ago you had the reduction, you may see an increased blood supply (which will show as darkened areas).
- Q: I had a lumpectomy, can I use Breastlight™?
A: Yes, it is fine to use Breastlight™ after any type of breast surgery. You will see slightly thickened tissue at the operation site. It is very important to take care of your breasts and check them regularly.
- Q: Why do I need to alter the intensity of the light in Breastlight™?
A: The density of breasts varies depending on many factors – age; size; hormonal changes and ‘time of the month’. The denser your breasts, the higher the intensity of light you will need. Too high or too low a setting will mean that blood vessels are not seen clearly, so you need to try different level of intensity.
- Q: I am really worried about using Breastlight™ for the first time – supposedly I find something?
A: It is common for women to be slightly anxious prior to initial use of the Breastlight™. Over time you will become more aware of what is normal in your breasts and therefore more confident in using the Breastlight™. Remember the Breastlight™ is not a diagnostic device. So, if you see any changes or something concerns you, contact your doctor for medical opinion.
- Q: If I use Breastlight™ regularly, do I still need to look and feel my breasts for changes?
A: YES. Breastlight™ should be used in addition to your normal breast self-examination routine. You should continue to look and feel your breast tissue and should always attend breast screening, when invited.
- Q: What is the light used in Breastlight™? Is it safe?
A: The light is a visible red light of a specific wavelength from a set of LED’s (light emitting diodes). It is completely safe. You can use Breastlight™ as often as you like, but we recommend that you use it regularly on a monthly basis.
- Q: How can light show up blood in my breast?
A: The red LED light is absorbed by the red blood cells in your blood. This enables you to see the blood vessels as dark lines. You can monitor any changes that occur. You should look for changes, such as dark areas or shadows that should be checked by your doctor.
- Q: What size will a tumour be that Breastlight™ detects?
A: In the clinical trials carried out on Breastlight™, the tumours over 2 cm were detected in most of cases and tumours under 2 cm were detected in well over 50% of cases. Of course, you must bear in mind that this depends on where the tumour is in the breast.
- Q: Can I use Breastlight™ during pregnancy?
A: Yes, you can use Breastlight™, when you are pregnant, but your breasts will be changing and receiving extra blood flow. It is advisable to stop using Breastlight™ until a few months after you have finished breast feeding as your breasts will be full of milk and you will not be able to see very much. There is no harm in using Breastlight™, but the results would be unsatisfactory.
- Q: Why do I need to use Breastlight™ in the dark?
A: Only a small proportion of the red light passes through the breast, so you need to remove any background light to illuminate the blood vessels. The darker the room, the easier it is to use.
- Q: How often should I use Breastlight™?
A: You can use Breastlight™ as often as you wish as part of your normal breast awareness routine.
- Q: Is Breastlight™ safe to use?
A: All the light from Breastlight™ is visible – there are no invisible rays and the light is completely harmless. You can use Breastlight™ as often as you like with no side effects or harm.
- Q: What if I see something I’m not sure about?
A: If you notice any changes in your breasts, you should ask your doctor for medical opinion as soon as possible. The changes will most likely be harmless, but your doctor will be able to reassure you.
- Q: What if I feel something in my breast, but can’t see anything with Breastlight™?
A: You should consult your doctor about it as soon as possible. It may be harmless, but your doctor will be able to advise and reassure you.
- Q: What if I see something with Breastlight™, but can’t feel anything in my breast?
A: You should ask your doctor about it as soon as possible. It may be harmless, but your doctor will be able to advise and reassure you.
- Q: If I use Breastlight™, should I still attend my routine breast screening?
A: Absolutely, YES! Breastlight™ is not a substitute for the routine breast screening that you receive, if you are aged 50 or over. It should just be used as part of your normal breast awareness routine at home.
- Q: Will Breastlight™ show up a DCIS lesion?
A: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is an early form of breast cancer, sometimes described as an intraductal or non-invasive cancer. If the cancer has angiogenesis associated with it then it should show up using Breastlight™. Such lesions have been detected during Breastlight™ research.
- Q: Can I use Breastlight™, when it is not fully charged?
A: If the power in the batteries is too low then the light will cut out. If this happens and you want to continue your examination, the Breastlight™ can be used with mains power using the adaptor and cable supplied.
- Q: Why should I use a lubricant with Breastlight™?
A: Some women find it more comfortable to use a lubricant, which allows the lens to glide across the skin more easily. Apply the lubricant lightly over the entire breast and wipe off the excess after completing your examination. We recommend a water based lubricant; do not use an oil based lubricant as this may damage your Breastlight™.
- Q: What does being ‘breast aware’ mean?
A: Doctors recommend that women know, how their breasts look and feel, so that they know, what is normal and healthy for them. This is called ‘breast awareness’.
Breastlight™ – your perfect aid in the quest for optimal breast awareness and long-term breast health!
UK Shipping Schedule and Costs
UK delivery speed and cost are selectable in the Checkout. All orders are shipped in plain discreet packaging.
- UK Regular Delivery (£4.50 + VAT):
Delivery in 2 - 3 working days. Orders must be received before 2 pm (Monday – Friday).
- UK Next Day by Courier (£7.50 + VAT):
Next Day Delivery by Courier for orders received before 2 pm on working days (Monday to Friday) - expect delivery on next working day (Monday to Friday).
- UK Free Delivery Option for online only orders of £50.00 excluding VAT or more:
UK Free Delivery Option for online only orders of £50.00 excluding VAT or more is free and takes approximately 5 - 6 working days. Purchases shipped with Free Delivery cannot be tracked!
- UK Saturday Delivery (£13.50 + VAT):
Saturday Delivery applies only to the UK Mainland Only. Saturday Delivery Orders must be placed before 2 pm on the Friday. Orders received after 2 pm on Friday will be delivered on Saturday next week.
Overseas Shipping Schedule
- Overseas deliveries take approximately 7 - 14 working days depending on destination.
- Shipping costs depend on the type of goods and the delivery address.
- Cost of shipping is shown in the Checkout prior to the completion of the purchase.
- VAT is removed automatically from all purchases for deliveries outside the EU.
- Customs Fees or Import Duties may be charged in the country of destination outside the EU. If such charges apply, they are the customer’s responsibility. Custom Fees or Import Duties do not apply to deliveries to EU countries.
Dimensions: 200 x 40 x 35 mm/ Weight (with rechargeable battery): circa 270 g
Breastlight™ kit includes the Breastlight™ unit, mains charger fitted with 3 pin UK main plug, travel adaptor for charging and user instructions. CE mark and 12 months warranty.
Please note that the Breastlight™ can be charged from the mains 100 – 240 V ~ 50/60 Hz and can be therefore used and charged during travel, if the mains charger plug is coupled with a suitable quality travel adaptor.