A thermographic test developed by Mexican students is able to detect breast cancer by measuring breast temperature with up to 95% accuracy, a higher rate than conventional mammography, its creators explained.
The test, called Thermy, uses a piece of software that is already available and that has helped more than 3,000 patients so far in Mexico, said Jan Andrei Merino, a bionic engineer at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and co-creator of the device.
The student explained that the system works using a thermal camera that takes images of the patient’s chest –known as thermograms. The images is taken at a distance of 1.5 meters and, if the patient wishes, can be taken in a dark room, which gives privacy and does not affect the results. The thermograms are then analyzed with the IPN artificial intelligence software to classify them.
The detection of the disease is possible because when there are cancer cells that grow and multiply, the blood flow and metabolism rise, which increases the temperature of the skin.
Thermy, Merino explained, is a test that “can be done after age 20, is 100% painless and non-invasive and radiation is not used so it can be done periodically.”
The system has the medical advice of the oncologist surgeon Enrique Martín del Campo and is endorsed by the Ministry of Health of Mexico City. Currently Thermy is already operating within the facilities of the Breast Cancer Foundation (FUCAM) where there is already a database of more than 3,000 patients.
Andrei Merino stressed that Thermy does not intend to replace a mammography, but to be another tool for the timely diagnosis of breast cancer, especially in those women under 40 years.
This, he said, because mammography is indicated from the age of 40 and “in Mexico more than 15% of breast cancer occurs in young women, under this age.”
The Thermy team is in the process of completing national and international patent procedures, as well as obtaining sanitary certification by the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS).
Once these procedures are completed, Merino hopes that a commercial version of the device that works with a computer or smartphone can be launched and can reach remote areas of the country. The researchers expect the cost to be less than 300 pesos (about $15).
At the moment in FUCAM, this test is free and available to the public; the only thing that is needed to access this technology is to schedule an appointment through the company’s website.
Thermy represented Mexico in the 2019 edition of the contest “An idea to change history”, a social responsibility initiative promoted by the History Channel, which winner will be announced in January 2020.
This initiative seeks to publicize the people who are currently working to constitute a legacy that is inspired by history and drives it forward and that has an impact on future generations.
Source: Agencia ID