Piezoelectric glove sensor for early detection

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Breast cancer is the top cancer in women in the developed and the developing world. Globally, about 25% and 15% of all new cancer cases and cancer deaths, respectively, among females were due to breast cancer[2]. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99% [3]. Early detection is enhanced by conducting monthly breast self-exams. However, these existing screening methods, such as MRI, Mammography, and Ultrasound, are expensive, making it difficult for the masses to conduct self-examination regularly. As a result, women in low and middle-income countries suffer the most due to breast cancer. This project seeks to develop a cost-effective system for detecting breast cancer cells in stages 0 and 1(early-stage detection) through tissue stiffness, which contrasts with the traditional mechanical or optical means of detection. It has been identified that the stiffness of a normal breast tissue is less than that of a malignant tissue. Therefore, by determining the elasticity of the breast tissue, it can be deduced if a tumor has been detected in the breast. The piezoelectric glove sensor combines the traditional method of self-examination: clinical breast examination (CBE) to conduct examinations. Three tests were conducted on three breast phantoms containing four tumors of different sizes using the glove sensor. The system was able to detect some of these tumors placed in the breast phantom. The sensitivity and specificity of the system were 84.6% and 83.3% respectively, concluding that the piezoelectric glove has a sensitivity and specificity more significant than a Mammogram and CT scan, and therefore is a suitable pre-screening device for early detection.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, May 2021