Revista mexicana de física
Print version ISSN 0035-001X
GONZALEZ, F.J. Thermal simulation of breast tumors. Rev. mex. fis. [online]. 2007, vol.53, n.4, pp. 323-326. ISSN 0035-001X.
It is well known that differences in energy consumption exist for normal and cancerous tissue. These differences lead to small but detectable local temperature changes, which is why infrared imaging has been used in the detection of different types of cancer; however, the early instrumentation was not sensitive enough to detect the subtle changes in temperature needed to accurately diagnose and monitor the disease. In recent years the sensitivity of infrared instruments has greatly improved. In this paper the bioheat transfer equation is solved for a simplified model of a female breast and a cancerous tumor in order to quantify the minimum size of a tumor or the maximum depth of a certain sized tumor that a modern state-of-the-art infrared imaging system can detect. Finite Element simulations showed that current state-of-the-art imagers are capable of detecting 3 cm tumors located deeper than 7 cm from the skin surface, and tumors smaller than 0.5 cm can be detected if they are located close to the surface of the skin.
Keywords : Cancer simulation; thermopathology; bioheat equation; thermal simulation.