Thermography is a medical technique used extensively in France, Sweden, and Japan, in assessing breast health.
Thermography is a physiological (functional) study, which uses no radiation, avoids painful breast compression, and is noninvasive. Thermography works by measuring the heat (infrared radiation) which is constantly radiating away from the surface of human skin. The skin, which is the largest organ in the human body, provides us with protection, breathes, and regulates our bodies’ temperature through automatic regulations by the sympathetic pathway, also known as thermoregulation.
The thermography scans are collected by a specialized, digital, infrared-sensing camera, and a high-speed computer is used to measure and capture the scans of the heat radiated from the breasts and alongside the areas of the breast.
Angiogensis forms new blood vessels. Tumor angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels form and grow into the tumor, giving it nutrients and oxygen to aid its growth. Before 1960, cancer researchers believed the blood supply reached tumors simply because of existing blood vessels. However, later experiments showed that angiogenesis played a major role in the growth of new blood vessels, which are necessary for cancerous tumors to keep growing and spreading.
Angiogensis plays a major role in breast cancer, and results in increased blood vessel growth in both precancerous tissue and the area surrounding developing breast cancer, where blood vessel growth is almost always higher than in the normal breast. Precancerous and cancerous masses need a rich supply of nutrients to preserve their growth. As the increased demand of nutrients grows, the circulation grows as well. This results in increased regional surface temperatures of the breast.
The increase in regional surface temperatures is useful with thermography scans. Abnormal scans of the breast clearly show abnormal areas of heat. This provides the clinician with the ability to look into something which may be wrong with the physiology of the breast.
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