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Detection of the breast cancer tumors at an early stage is very crucial to be successful in the treatment. Microwave measurement systems have gained much attention for this aim over last decades. The main principle of these systems is based on the significant difference in the dielectric properties of the malignant tumor and normal breast tissue in the microwave frequencies. In this paper, firstly several breast cancer detection techniques are mentioned. Then the advantages of the using microwaves in the detection systems are given. After that, some simulation and experimental studies of the radar-based ultra-wideband microwave measurement system are presented to detect tumor. The main purposes of these measurements are comparing the performance of a previously designed planar monopole antenna (PMA) with a dual-ridge horn (DRH) antenna and demonstrating a simple microwave breast cancer detection system. In the system, a planar breast phantom which is consisted of low dielectric constant material to represent the healthy tissue and high dielectric constant material to represent the tumor is used. Firstly, the measurements are made without tumor in the phantom. Then, the tumor-mimicking object is located to the phantom. In the measurements, both the PMA and DRH antennas are used respectively. These antennas are ultra-wideband and directional. They have narrow beamwidth and stable directional pattern at the interval of 3-10 GHz. According to the return loss results, the reflected energy increases when the antenna gets close to the tumor. Therefore, it can be said that the scattering parameters give important information about the tumor. According to the obtained results in this study, it can be said that the performance of the compact-sized PMA is better than the DRH antenna having larger size.
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