Functional Infrared Imaging of the Breast: Historical Perspectives, Current Application, and Future Considerations
There is general consensus that earlier detection of breast cancer should result in improved survival. For the last two decades, first-line breast imaging has relied primarily on mammography. Despite better equipment and regulation, particularly with the recent introduction of digital mammography, variability in interpretation and tissue density can affect mammography accuracy. To promote earlier diagnosis, a number of adjuvant functional imaging techniques have recently been introduced, including Doppler ultrasound and gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that can detect cancer-induced regional neovascularity. While valuable modalities, problems relating to complexity, accessibility, cost,
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and in most cases the need for intravenous access make them unsuitable as components of a first-line imaging strategy.