The influence of size, depth and histologic characteristics of invasive ductal breast carcinoma on thermographic properties of the breast
Keywords:invasive ductal breast carcinoma, thermography, breast cancer, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor
Invasive breast carcinoma is the most common oncologic disease worldwide. The existing diagnostic methods use morphologic changes in the breast to diagnose a carcinoma when it has reached a certain size. Therefore, it is important to augment the morphologic diagnostic examinations with a new method that focuses on characteristics other than morphology such as electromagnetic changes produced by cancer. 50 adult female patients with confirmed ductal carcinoma following a core biopsy due to a suspicious breast mass were included in the study. They underwent breast thermography using a specially designed infrared camera. The data collected was statistically analyzed to determine how the presence of a tumor and its histologic characteristics influence breast thermographic properties. Twenty eight [56 %] patients in the study had an abnormal thermogram. Following statistical analysis, it was found that temperature of the diseased breast was directly correlated to tumor volume [p=0.009] and negatively correlated to depth of tumor [p=0.042]. Tumors that were ER+ and PR+ tumors produced warmer temperatures [p=0.017 and p=0.038 respectively] than tumors without these receptors. HER2 status and Ki-67 index had no statistical correlation with breast temperature. Tumor size, distance from the skin surface and receptor status cause changes in breast thermographic properties. Despite technical advances in the field of thermography, there are still contradictory results associated with thermography. Its diagnostic abilities are generally poorer than conventional methods and its use in breast cancer screening or as an adjunctive tool for diagnostic purposes is not recommended.
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