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The luteal heat cycle of the breast in health

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Wearing a special thermometric brassiere, twenty-five normal women self-measured their breast surface temperature. The subjects averaged 39 years of age and all were parous. Observations were made for one hour each evening for one menstrual cycle under semi-standardized domestic conditions. They also collected daily samples of saliva for radioimmunoassay of progesterone concentration.

The surface temperature of the breast is relatively cold around mid-cycle; thereafter, and without interruption in averaged data, the temperature increases steadily by about 1° C over the 12 days of the luteal phase; around the time of the menses, it falls rapidly.

This heat rhythm does not occur in peri-menopausal low progesterone menstrual cycles or in patients where the breast tissue has been irradiated for cancer treatment.

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Simpson, H.W., Griffiths, K., McArdle, C. et al. The luteal heat cycle of the breast in health. Breast Cancer Res Tr 27, 239–245 (1993).

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