Actor Billy Baldwin will be in Bloomfield Hills on Monday to show his support for the First Sense Breast Exam, a new early detection device for breast cancer that is currently in its final phases of prototype testing. Plans call for its market release next summer.
In contrast to traditional forms of breast cancer detection — mammograms and breast exams, which can physically identify breast cancer — the First Sense Breast Exam uses a highly sensitive infrared camera to register changes in the temperature of breast tissue, says Paul Angott, founder and president of First Sense Medical, the firm behind the new technology.
Angott explains that cells give off a higher heat signature when they first begin to mutate. The average heat signature of a healthy breast is about 88 degrees (after being disrobed for an exam), where a diseased breast will be 3-4 degrees higher, Angott says.
The First Sense Breast Exam — which has been in development for the past five years and has raised more than $5 million, primarily from local angel investors — is able to detect slight temperature changes at a projected 95 percent accuracy rate, Angott says.
First Sense is currently testing fully functional prototype devices in a local clinic, prior to conducting clinical trials in the near future in hospitals. The company is awaiting FDA approval.
To show his support for First Sense Medical, founded in 2007, Baldwin will visit the office in Bloomfield Hills to discuss his first-hand experience of his mother’s battle with cancer.
“After my mother won her battle with breast cancer, our family has dedicated our charitable efforts towards raising funds for breast cancer related efforts, most notably the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund,” Baldwin says. “In addition to seeking out a cure, I am particularly interested in new methods of early detection like the First Sense Breast Exam, as the potential for successful treatment increases exponentially if the tumors are found early.”
Baldwin, 51, an actor, producer, and writer, starred in Backdraft, Flatliners, Art Heist, Fair Game, and numerous cable and television shows. His three brothers, Alec, Daniel, and Stephen, have also starred in various film and TV endeavors.
Once approved, the First Sense Breast Exam will be performed in a doctor’s office and will cost patients about $20 to $30, Angott says.