Veronica J James

Australian National University, Australia

Title: I have a dream


Veronica J James completed her PhD in Physics from the University of NSW in 1971. Working in crystallography, she published 40 papers on the molecular structures of small organic crystals, before moving into the fi bre diffraction studies of collagen and keratin. In this area she has carried out the diffraction study that produced the successful structure for hard α-keratin and also pioneered the fi bre diffraction diagnostic tests for breast, colon, prostate cancers and for Alzheimer’s Disease. She was awarded an OAM for her Phones for the Deaf Program and her Advanced Physics Programs in 1996.


I have a dream of a future without mammograms for women or prostate biopsies and PSA tests for men. What good are tests with such low success scores? Standing in the wings are tests with 100% accuracy for the diagnosis of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Th e fi bre diff raction test of hair for breast cancer has three advantages over mammograms:  Hair sample is cut close to the skin – no pain. Tests are suitable for all ages  No irradiation of breast is needed  A positive breast cancer diagnosis appears earlier than by any other test  Following successful surgery, a further test reveals the breast cancer change has gone thus no worrying for 15 years Hair samples also reveal the presence of Alzheimer’s disease before the brain is altered, thus allowing time for suitable medication to be used Th e skin biopsy diff raction test for prostate cancer also off ers similar advantages:  Skin biopsies are taken from areas remote from the prostate. Th is eliminates infection problems associated with the prostate biopsies  Th e prostate cancer diagnosis is 100% accurate but also earlier than any other diagnostic test  High and low grade prostate cancers can be diagnosed and any invasions can be identifi ed as perineural and lymphatic types  Following successful treatment the prostate cancer change disappears: No need to worry  Breast cancer and prostate cancer tests are ready to go at the moment. Th ey should be in use, not in dreams