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Original Articles Open Access
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women. Early diagnosis can increase the survival rate in cancer patients. Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is a portable and non-invasive diagnostic technology that is non-contact, pain-free and radiation free procedure for breast carcinoma diagnosis. However, the link between disease and heat radiation is complex and in many cases even non-linear. The DITI shows sensitivity of 97.6%, specificity of 99.17%, positive predictive value 83.67% and negative predictive value 99.89% on breast thermography screening. The aim of this study was to review recent studies published on the application of infrared thermography for the evaluation of safety, effectiveness and diagnostic accuracy for breast cancer screening and diagnosis based on breast thermography. This work systematically examines the evidence on breast thermography as a tool for screening/ diagnostic test to assist in the investigation of abnormalities on a mammogram or ultrasound and to assess the risk of future breast cancer. It is concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend the use of DITI merely as a diagnostic tool. This inefficiency mainly causes during image acquisition, complicated processing and analyzing of the thermograms and most importantly, lack of standard protocols to guide the final prediction. Therefore, the demand for a proper image processing method is still an opened discussion. Future research on employing standardized imaging and reporting methods is still required.
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Author(s): Hossein Ghobadi Somying Thainimit Nobuhiko Sugino Duangrat Gansawat and Hossein Ghayoumi Zadeh
Breast Cancer, Digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI), Thermography, Diagnostic accuracy, Thermogram, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), breast cancer