Surface temperature distribution of a breast with and without tumour

N. M. Sudharsan, E. Y K Ng, S. L. Teh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer is a common and dreadful disease in women. Regular screening helps in its early detection. At present the most common methods of screening are by self examination and mammography. The surface temperature distribution of the breast can also provide some information on the presence of tumour. This distribution has a relation to the size and location of tumour and can be seen using thermography, where the infrared radiation emitted from the surface of the breast is recorded and a thermal pattern obtained. Thermography is a non-invasive and an inexpensive tool which could be used for early detection. In order to simulate the surface temperature distribution, a two-dimensional model of female breast with and without a carcinoma is considered. The breast is modelled with varying layer thickness close to the actual shape and numerically solved using finite element analysis. Temperature profiles are obtained for a normal breast and for a malignant one by varying the tumour size, location and the blood flow rates. The results show that the surface temperature for a malignant breast is higher than that of a normal one. In addition the size and location of the tumour do have an effect on the surface temperature distribution. It can also be seen that tumour of different sizes placed at the same location would yield the same maximum temperature depending on the blood perfusion rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood perfusion
  • Location of tumour
  • Size of tumour
  • Temperature distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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