Int J Fertil Womens Med Sep-Oct 2001 ;46(5):238-47

Circadian rhythm chaos: a new breast cancer marker.

Study done by:

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,

Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Keith LG, Oleszczuk JJ, Laguens M.;


The most disappointing aspect of breast cancer treatment as a public health issue has been the failure of screening to improve mortality figures. Since treatment of late-stage cancer has indeed advanced, mortality can only be decreased by improving the rate of early diagnosis. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, it was expected that thermography would hold the key to breast cancer detection, as surface temperature increases overlying malignant tumors had been demonstrated by thermographic imaging. Unfortunately, detection of the 1-3 degrees C thermal differences failed to bear out its promise in early identification of cancer. In the intervening two-and-a-half decades, three new factors have emerged: it is now apparent that breast cancer has a lengthy genesis; a long-established tumor-even one of a certain minimum size-induces increased arterial/capillary vascularity in its vicinity; and thermal variations that characterize tissue metabolism are circadian ("about 24 hours") in periodicity. This paper reviews the evidence for a connection between disturbances of circadian rhythms and breast cancer. Furthermore, a scheme is proposed in which circadian rhythm "chaos" is taken as a signal of high risk for breast cancer even in the absence of mammographic evidence of neoplasm or a palpable tumor. Recent studies along this line suggest that an abnormal thermal sign, in the light of our present knowledge of breast cancer, is ten times as important an indication as is family history data.


J Biomech Eng. 2004 Apr;126(2):204-11.

Effect of forced convection on the skin thermal expression of breast cancer.

Study done by:

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Hu L, Gupta A, Gore JP, Xu LX.;


A bioheat-transfer-based numerical model was utilized to study the energy balance in healthy and malignant breasts subjected to forced convection in a wind tunnel. Steady-state temperature distributions on the skin surface of the breasts were obtained by numerically solving the conjugate heat transfer problem. Parametric studies on the influences of the airflow on the skin thermal expression of tumors were performed. It was found that the presence of tumor may not be clearly shown due to the irregularities of the skin temperature distribution induced by the airflow field. Nevertheless, image subtraction techniques could be employed to eliminate the effects of the flow field and thermal noise and significantly improve the thermal signature of the tumor on the skin surface. Inclusion of the possible skin vascular response to cold stress caused by the airflow further enhances the signal, especially for deeply embedded tumors that otherwise may not be detectable.


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