Multifractal analysis of breast cancer IR thermograms (Vol. 45 No.2)

Multifractal analysis of temperature time-series (A-C) of the cancerous (red) and intact (black) breasts of a patient, and of a healthy volunteer breast (green). D(h) singularity spectra (D): the multifractal wide spectrum of healthy breasts reduces to a single point (monofractality) in the presence of a tumor.

Breast cancer is a common type of cancer among women and despite recent advances in the medical field there are still some inherent limitations in current screening techniques. The radiological interpretation of X-ray mammograms often leads to over-diagnoses and to unnecessary traumatic and painful biopsies. In this paper, the authors propose a computer-aided multifractal analysis of dynamic infrared imaging as an efficient method for preliminary screening in asymptomatic women, in order to identify those with a higher risk of breast cancer. Using a wavelet-based multi-scale method to analyze the temporal fluctuations of breast skin temperature, collected both from patients with breast cancer, and from healthy volunteers, they show that the multifractal complexity of temperature fluctuations observed in intact breasts is lost in mammary glands with a malignant tumor. Besides potential clinical application, these results underline the informative content of physiological changes that may precede anatomical alterations in breast cancer development.

E. Gerasimova, B. Audit, S.-G. Roux, A. Khalil, F. Argoul, O. Naimark and A. Arneodo, "Multifractal analysis of dynamic infrared imaging of breast cancer", EPL 104, 68001 (2013)