• Breast Cancer Screening Does Not Reduce Deaths Says Study Of 40 Years Of Mammograms

    Article Date: 11 Jun 2013 – 9:00 PDT

    Posted at: MedicalNewsToday.com

    A new UK study suggests screening for breast cancer does not reduce deaths from the disease. The study, which looked at nearly 40 years of breast screening, adds to the controversy surrounding whether it is screening or improvement in treatment that accounts for the fall in rates of death from breast cancer.

    The researchers from the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford, report their findings online in the June issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    For their study, lead author Toqir Mukhtar and colleagues analyzed mortality statistics recorded before and after 1988, the year that the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme began.
    [Read More…]

  • When a Train is not a Boat, and a Row Boat is not a Luxury Liner

    Why Mammography cannot be compared with breast thermography.
    Author: Dr. Hillary Smith

    I have recently seen the media go crazy with a study that was done at Bryn Mawr Hospital comparing mammography and thermography for breast cancer detection. The thermal images in the study failed to impress those conducting the study. And so we see multiple headlines about mammography being superior to thermography.

    Thermography and mammography are not the same. A train is not a boat.

    I wish the status quo would stop trying to put a train on the water and a boat on the tracks. Each vehicle has its own purpose and strengths.

    Thermography is a radiation free test of physiology looking at very early changes in the tissue. Mammography is an x-ray looking at structure or what has already developed. Only a biopsy can diagnose breast cancer.

    We need to change our thinking about breast screening and accept the addition of early, non toxic screening in order to give women the opportunity for lifestyle changes, very early intervention and safe screenings for all women including young women with dense breasts.

    As thermographers, we are on the health side. We need to take our honorable place in women’s health care. We are not mammograms. We are a boat, not a train.

    Now about boats. The thermography used in the “study” was a computer generated diagnosis with information garnered from industrial cameras.
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  • Breast Thermography is a Noninvasive Prognostic Procedure that Predicts Tumor Growth Rate in Breast Cancer Patients

    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 Nov 30;698:153-8.

    Breast thermography is a noninvasive prognostic procedure that predicts tumor growth rate in breast cancer patients.

    Head JF, Wang F, Elliott RL.

    Source

    Elliott Mastology Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816.

    Abstract

    Our recent retrospective analysis of the clinical records of patients who had breast thermography demonstrated that an abnormal thermogram was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and a poorer prognosis for the breast cancer patient. This study included 100 normal patients, 100 living cancer patients, and 126 deceased cancer patients. Abnormal thermograms included asymmetric focal hot spots, areolar and periareolar heat, diffuse global heat, vessel discrepancy, or thermographic edge sign. Incidence and prognosis were directly related to thermographic results: only 28% of the noncancer patients had an abnormal thermogram, compared to 65% of living cancer patients and 88% of deceased cancer patients. Further studies were undertaken to determine if thermography is an independent prognostic indicator. Comparison to the components of the TNM classification system showed that only clinical size was significantly larger (p = 0.006) in patients with abnormal thermograms. Age, menopausal status, and location of tumor (left or right breast) were not related to thermographic results. Progesterone and estrogen receptor status was determined by both the cytosol-DCC and immunocytochemical methods, and neither receptor status showed any clear relationship to the thermographic results. Prognostic indicators that are known to be related to tumor growth rate were then compared to thermographic results. The concentration of ferritin in the tumor was significantly higher (p = 0.021) in tumors from patients with abnormal thermograms (1512 +/- 2027, n = 50) compared to tumors from patients with normal thermograms (762 +/- 620, n = 21). Both the proportion of cells in DNA synthesis (S-phase) and proliferating (S-phase plus G2M-phase, proliferative index) were significantly higher in patients with abnormal thermograms. The expression of the proliferation-associated tumor antigen Ki-67 was also associated with an abnormal thermogram. The strong relationships of thermographic results with these three growth rate-related prognostic indicators suggest that breast cancer patients with abnormal thermograms have faster-growing tumors that are more likely to have metastasized and to recur with a shorter disease-free interval.

  • Advanced Integrated Technique in Breast Cancer Thermography

    J Med Eng Technol. 2008 Mar-Apr;32(2):103-14.

    Advanced integrated technique in breast cancer thermography.

    Ng EY, Kee EC.

    Source

    School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. mykng@ntu.edu.sg

    Abstract

    Thermography is a passive and non-contact imaging technique used extensively in the medical arena, but in relation to breast care, it has not been accepted as being on a par with mammography. This paper proposes the analysis of thermograms with the use of artificial neural networks (ANN) and bio-statistical methods, including regression and receiver operating characteristics (ROC). It is desired that through these approaches, highly accurate diagnosis using thermography techniques can be achieved. The suggested method is a multi-pronged approach comprising of linear regression, radial basis function network (RBFN) and ROC analysis. It is a novel, integrative and powerful technique that can be used to analyse large amounts of complicated measured data such as temperature values extracted from abnormal and healthy breast thermograms. The use of regression allows the correlation between the variables and the actual health status of the subject, which is decided by other traditional means such as the gold standard of mammography for breast cancer detection. This is important as it helps to select the appropriate variables to be used as inputs for building the neural network. RBFN is next trained to produce the desired outcome that is either positive or negative. When this is done, the RBFN possess the ability to predict the outcome when there are new input variables. The advantages of using RBFN include fast training of superior classification and decision-making abilities as compared to other networks such as backpropagation. Lastly, ROC is applied to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the outcome for the RBFN test files. The proposed technique has an accuracy rate of 80.95%, with 100% sensitivity and 70.6% specificity in identifying breast cancer. The results are promising as compared to clinical examination by experienced radiologists, which has an accuracy rate of approximately 60-70%. To sum up, technological advances in the field of infrared thermography over the last 20 years warrant a re-evaluation of the use of high-resolution digital thermographic camera systems in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. Thermography seeks to identify the presence of a tumour by the elevated temperature associated with increase blood flow and cellular activity. Of particular interest would be investigation in younger women and men, for whom mammography is either unsuitable or of limited effectiveness. The paper evaluated the high-definition digital infrared thermographic technology and knowledge base; and supports the development of future diagnostic and therapeutic services in breast cancer imaging. Through the use of integrative ANN and bio-statistical methods, advances are made in thermography application with regard to achieving a higher level of consistency. For breast cancer care, it has become possible to use thermography as a powerful adjunct and biomarker tool, together with mammography for diagnosis purposes.

  • Thermography at the Natural Health Center