An Irish company are developing a device that could enable doctors to detect cancer in its early stages.

Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) are creating a small hand held gadget which will be radiation-free, making it safer for patients than X-ray and MRI scans.

MCCI director Mark Barry said he believes the development could be huge in the battle against the disease.

He told the Irish Mirror: “We would see this as being very beneficial for the curing of cancer. Usually, if a doctor has suspicions a patient may have a tumor they send them for an X-ray.

“As everybody knows, sometimes small tumors are missed by conventional methods.

“So we are confident that this could pick up traces of cancer and small tumors much earlier than the other methods.

“This in turn will lead to a larger number of people being diagnosed earlier and cured.

“The potential is huge. We are still in the early stages of development but we’re working with a number of companies and hopefully a firm will get involved and take this into the next stage.”

MCCI is a national hub of creativity and innovation hosted by the Tyndall National Institute in Cork in collaboration with University of Limerick