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Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 33  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 274 - 280

Detecting early breast tumour by finite element thermal analysis

Q. Y. Lin, H. Q. Yang, S. S. Xie, Y. H. Wang, Z. Ye and S. Q. Chen

Abstract

Thermography has been proved to be an effective technique for indicating breast disease abnormalities or risks. However, the abnormalities might not express clearly due to various factors, such as when a small tumour is located in a deep region, or environmental influences that make breast disease difficult to find. This study aims to solve these problems for early detection of breast tumour. A three-dimensional breast model is presented to investigate the relationship between an embedded tumour and the surface temperature distribution. Then a subtraction technique is used to enhance the thermal signature of breast tumour. It was showed that the surface thermal characteristics of a small tumour even in a deep region could be found easily by this method. Furthermore, it was also found that the surface thermal characteristics of tumour obscured due to environmental cooling effect can be clearly displayed. The results are very useful for analysing breast thermograms.

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