Early detection of breast cancer: The science
Early detection of breast cancer is about physiology not anatomy!
Most methods of breast cancer screening, including X-ray mammography and MRI, are directed toward identifying anatomical structures within the breasts. The System detailed in the Yannacone patents identifies and characterizes physiological processes within the breasts. This is comparable to the difference between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI). MRI can image anatomical structures within the body but fMRI can actually image biological processes within the body, rather than just the structures, which might be associated with those processes.
Analysis of the data collected during an infrared breast scan can be used to locate and identify abnormal physiological processes within specific areas of the breast tissue. There is a high degree of correlation between anomalous infrared emissions from the skin surface of the breast and specific physiological anomalies within the volume of breast tissue. The system described in the Yannacone patents establishes the existence of statistically significant anomalous patterns of infrared radiation from the surface of the breast correspond to neo-plastic disease processes within the volume of breast tissue.
physiological mechanisms of anomalous infrared emissions
There are several physiological mechanisms that can account for the association between anomalous infrared emissions from a particular area on the surface of the breast and some abnormal physiological process within the volume of breast tissue. Some of those mechanisms suggest that chemical messengers from neoplastic activity may influence the response of the superficial blood vessels of the skin to thermal challenge, while other mechanisms may be related to angiogenesis and the angiogenic activity necessary for tumor growth within the volume of breast tissue. Sympathetic nervous system control of the thermoregulatory process in the human body when confronting thermal challenge is also involved. Still other physiological and biophysical mechanisms may be recognized as the database grows.
The approach of the Yannacone patents to breast cancer detection is based upon detecting, distinguishing and classifying all possible physiological activity in the volume of breast tissue in response to a non-invasive, room temperature, convective thermal challenge. Within the limits of detector sensitivity, the System records the complete spectrum of the physiological response directly measuring the spatial and temporal variation in infrared emissions from the entire surface area of the breasts during a thermal challenge. Temporal histograms can represent the complete spectrum of physiological responses to the thermal challenge in both space and time.