LONDON, October 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Research from Breastlight shows that women are confused about their actual risk of getting breast cancer. They also lack confidence when it comes to being breast aware.

46,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It is well accepted that being aware of how your breasts normally feel and look is key to detect changes. But data shows that 60 per cent of women do not routinely check their breasts and only 40 per cent of women who do feel confident in what they're doing(1,2).

Furthermore, there is misplaced anxiety about breast cancer. As cancer is partly related to ageing, the majority of patients will be over 50. Their risk of having breast cancer within the next 5 years is less than 1 in 100. Yet research shows that older women underestimate this risk. In a study of 500 women, 70% of over 50s put their risk at around 1 in 600(3).

Conversely 80% of under-25s vastly over estimate their risk of getting breast cancer. The study showed that these group of women estimated their risk of getting breast cancer in the next 5 years to be about 1 in 850 versus an actual risk of 1 in 10,000(3).

Dr Sarah Burnett, consultant radiologist at King Edward VII Hospital London and former breast cancer patient, commented: As both a doctor and a woman who has had breast cancer, I am concerned. The last thing we want is for young women to be checking themselves too regularly and worrying unnecessarily. But the women most at risk need to do all they can to monitor their breasts and be aware of changes. Confidence is key. When women have the confidence and know what changes to look out for, breast awareness becomes as much a part of their life as good skincare.

Breastlight is a newly available handheld device that gives women extra confidence and goes a step further in breast awareness.

Clinically proven to detect confirmed malignant tumours(4,5), Breastlight works by shining a very bright but harmless red LED light through breast tissue. Women see inside their breasts and notice how their breast tissue normally looks. Veins and other blood vessels show up as dark lines, the 'map' which is unique to each woman. If dark spots or shadows are spotted, then this is generally an indication of an abnormality. In all cases, it is recommended that these are followed up by a doctor.

A major benefit is the confidence that Breastlight gives women. In a study of almost 1,200 women, 80% who trialled the product said they felt more confident when using Breastlight within their general breast awareness routine. It also encourages women to carry out checks at the recommended level of frequency. Before Breastlight, 34% of women checked their breasts less than once every three months. After trying Breastlight this number fell to 8%. Regular checkers (women who carry out checks once a month or more) increased from 44% to 76%(6).

Breastlight is currently available in-store at larger Boots branches nationwide, priced GBP84.99. Also available at and

References 1,2: Self-check numbers from Breakthrough Breast Cancer survey 2008; Self-check and confidence rates from feedback consumer research Agency 2008 3: PWB Health Ltd market research of 500 women 2008 4: Brittendon et al 1995. Brit. J. Radiol. 68, 1344-1348 5: Interim results from 150 patients: Sunderland City Hospital 6: User Study available at

SOURCE: Breastlight

CONTACT: For further information please contact Kate Freeman atBreastlight,Tel: +44-(0)845-301-1452 / Mobile: +44(0)7748-142113/