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Technology For Imaging Of Breast Cancer

1866 words - 8 pages

Since the day the first scientific discovery, the wheel was made; mankind has been continuously inventing and developing various technologies. The 20th century is known for drastic advancement in every field especially science and technology. In medical sciences, noteworthy innovations have been made. Breast cancer is an alarmingly serious disease found among women and is of serious concern for medical specialists for many years. During last few decades, a number of imaging technologies have been introduced that help physicians in diagnosis and treatment of this fatal ailment. The well-known technologies used for imaging of breast cancer are explained in this paper. Thermography Thermography or thermal imaging was initially used for monitoring movement of troops during war. During 1950s, Raymond Lawson, a surgeon, proposed to make use of this technology for the detection of heat produced by cancerous breast tumors. “. In 1959, the first medical thermogram to investigate breast cancer was taken; in 1982, thermography was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an adjunctive screening procedure, meant to supplement mammography and other traditional tests for the disease”. (Thermography and Breast Health) In this method, special infrared cameras are used for taking photos of breast and other soft tissues. It is also used to measure the temperature of skin surface and deep inside up to 6 mm. Thermography is able to detect heat produced through metabolic processes in case of any suspected growth or tumors much before it actually appears and could be detected by x-rays. In case a cancerous growth starts developing, it builds up a separate blood supply in order to meet the increased growth process known as malignant angiogenesis. The cell start their activity much before they turn malignant and the accelerated blood supply produces extra heat that is detected through thermographic cameras. Being capable to measure this heat, the technology is able to detect any malignant or cancerous growth at least ten years in advance as compared to any other method. “Thermogram can also indicate a tumor’s aggressiveness, which has more to do with its cellular biology than with its size. Thus, a very small tumor may have the ability to invade the body and lead to death, while a larger one may not. In conclusion, thermogram suggests whether the cancer is highly active and may be spreading”. (Thermography and Breast Health) The effectiveness of thermographic technique could be well-judged from the statistic provided by the above mentioned source. Quoting Alternative Medicine, April 2003, it says, “This year, over 190,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Shocking as this number of cancer that won’t be found until it’s too late; each year more than 40,000 women die of the disease. The sooner you catch a malignancy, the sooner you can get on a treatment path toward a cure.” (Thermography and Breast Health) Mammography...

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