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Processing thermal images to detect breast cancer and assess pain

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3 Author(s)
Frize, M. ; Dept. of Syst. & Comput. Eng., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; Herry, C. ; Scales, N.

Thermography began to be used to detect breast cancer in the 1960s and assess pain in the 1980s. The images were interpreted through the naked eye and subtle differences were difficult to identify. More recently, widespread use of PCs led to computer processing for the analysis of thermal images. Thermal imaging records the skin temperature distribution of the body and thus can provide insight in thermal dysfunction associated with breast cancer or with pain. Several digital processing steps to analyze thermal images of breast and pain patients are described. Results from the analysis of breasts were validated by comparing with actual clinical outcomes. The research with pain focused on identifying the thermal patterns for normal subjects and is now in the process of identifying physiological disorders that correspond to abnormal thermal patterns. Future work will focus on improving the performance of the techniques that identify temperature differences in patients with breast cancer or with various symptoms of pain.

Published in:

Information Technology Applications in Biomedicine, 2003. 4th International IEEE EMBS Special Topic Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-26 April 2003