Thermographic Computational Analyses of a 3D Model of a Scanned Breast
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. Cancer cells are characterized by having a higher metabolic activity and superior vascularization when compared to healthy cells. The internal heat generated by tumors travels to the skin surface where an infrared camera is capable of detecting small temperatures variations on the dermal surface. Breast cancer diagnosis using only thermal images is still not accepted by the medical community which makes necessary another exam to confirm the disease. This work presents a methodology which allows identification of breast cancer using only simulated thermal images. Experiments are performed in a three-dimensional breast geometry obtained with a 3D digital scanning. The procedure starts with the 3D scanning of a model of a real female breast using a “Picza LPX-600RE 3D Laser Scanner” to generate the breast virtual geometry. This virtual 3D model is then used to simulate the heat transfer phenomena using Finite Element Model (FEM). The simulated thermal images of the breast surface are obtained via the FEM model. Based on the temperature difference of a healthy breast and a breast with cancer it is possible to identify the presence of a tumor by analyzing the biggest thermal amplitudes. Results obtained with the FEM model indicate that it is possible to identify breast cancer using only infrared images.
KeywordsBreast cancer 3D scanning Thermal images Numerical simulation Inverse problem
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the following Brazilian agencies: FAPEMIG, Minas Gerais Research Funding Foundation; CNPq, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development; and CAPES, Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel.
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