A retrospective pilot clinical study on time domain multi-wavelength (635 to 1060 nm) optical mammography was exploited to assess collagen as a breast-cancer risk factor on a total of 109 subjects (53 healthy and 56 with malignant lesions). An increased cancer occurrence is observed on the 15% subset of patients with higher age-matched collagen content. Further, a similar clustering based on the percentage breast density leads to a different set of patients, possibly indicating collagen as a new independent breast cancer risk factor. If confirmed statistically and on larger numbers, these results could have huge impact on personalized diagnostics, health care systems, as well as on basic research.
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