Jun 04, 2019 05:51 AM EDT
Breast cancer involves inflammatory processes and the mediators of this course release heat. Using thermographic techniques, the scanner is able to create a temperature map of your body that can illustrate the greater heat-producing areas clearly. This is how your doctor may be able to trace the abnormal cellular processes and by the help of which, further diagnostic procedures and course of the disease can be evaluated.
Thermography is able to detect cancer early because every cell in our body naturally gives off some small amount of metabolic heat that increases in temperature when an abnormal condition occurs. A thermographic camera is able to detect these natural heat that the body emits at a cellular level. It makes thermal imaging possible in that it's able to detect abnormal activities five to eight years before a lump can be detected by mammography.
In their earliest stages, multiplying cancer cells are highly metabolic and need an abundant supply of nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth. In order to grow, they increase circulation to their mutilated cells by keeping blood vessels open, activate inactive blood vessels, and create new ones-a process known as neoangiogenesis.
These vascular processes cause an increase in temperature in the affected regions. Whereas the newly formed and the activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance that thermography can detect even at that early stage.
Of course, in the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells and with all that multiplying activities going on, inflammation is definite. Inflammation emits heat that shows up in a thermogram. This is why thermography is often used to detect not only inflammation and cancer growth but also other changes in the human body such as infections, trauma, allergies, flu or fever.
Latest research works have been successful in favoring thermography for breast cancer screening for early detection. Tracing heat patterns of the breast cells can predict the course of the disease as well as the risks quite earlier than its outcome.
A study was conducted that involved 1,245 women who underwent a physical examination, an ultrasonic investigation, mammography, fine needle aspiration, as well as a biopsy for breasts. One-third of the subjects showed up with histologically-proven cancers within a time frame of five years. In their cases, thermography was able to detect metabolic changes in the lesion cells that had the potential to grow rapidly, and its predictive value remains far better than that of a biopsy.
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