Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women and is responsible for over 41,000 lives every year in the US according to The American Cancer Society. Current screening and imaging methods such as mammography, breast magnetic resonance imaging, and breast ultrasound imaging have helped in improving survival rate when the cancer is detected at an early stage. The problems with these techniques include: low sensitivity, patient discomfort, invasiveness, and cost. Due to current advancements in infrared and computational technologies, infrared thermography has been utilized as a noninvasive adjunctive screening modality. A computerized approach using infrared imaging (IRI) has been recently developed at RIT in collaboration with Rochester General Hospital for breast cancer detection and image localization. The parameters used in this simulation have been selected based on limited information available in the literature. This study focuses on analyzing the effects of different tissue thermal parameters used in the simulation on the accuracy of prediction. Thermal conductivity and perfusion rate are systematically varied, and their effects are presented by comparing simulated images with the actual infrared images captured from a biopsy-proven breast cancer patient. The results indicate a strong influence of perfusion rate within the breast tissue surrounding the tumor on heat transfer within the breast. This study is expected to help in proper selection of thermal properties while conducting the simulations. Future directions for research are also presented.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Breast--Cancer--Diagnosis; Medical thermography; Infrared imaging--Data processing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Satish Kandlikar

Advisor/Committee Member

Iris Rivero

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Richards


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes