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The performance of three different antenna typologies is analysed in terms of important parameters for microwave breast cancer imaging applications. Two monopole and a Vivaldi antenna are investigated in the presence of skin and breast tissue in the frequency range 0.75 - 2.25 GHz (100% operating bandwidth). The three antennas have been analysed when placed at a 5 mm distance from a two layer phantom which simulates skin + breast tissues. This paper discusses the radiation mechanisms for the different cases treated and their effects on fundamental parameters in breast cancer imaging applications, such as impedance matching, field penetration, polarization and fidelity factor.