Scientists have made a breakthrough in breast cancer treatments by developing a test that can successfully detect the disease from a few strands of hair.
The test, known as Fermiscan, is capable of detecting the disease in the early stages, which is easiest to treat.
It helps in diagnosing the cancer from just 20 strands of hair, about 2.5cm long in younger women, reports New Scientist magazine.
One in every five cases of women under 50s suffering from breast cancer have denser breast that are difficult to screen with mammography.
Fermiscan can also help in identifying the tumours surfacing in the three-year gap between the breast X-rays or mammograms given to the over-50s regularly.
When a normal hair is put under a microscope, it appears as series of arcs and women with breast cancer have a distinctive ring superimposed on to these arcs.
The test is expected to be up for sale within a few months.
Dr Alison Ross, of Cancer Research UK, said that the 220-dollar test could miss cancer in people with the disease but give a false positive in healthy women.