Introduction/Background Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. While mammography is the standard for early detection in women over 50, there is no standard for younger women. The aim of this prospective pilot study was to assess liquid crystal contact thermography, using the Braster device, as a means for the early detection of breast cancer.
Methodology 274 consecutive women presenting at Polish breast centers for routine breast examination were enrolled to receive thermography; 19 were excluded for errors in thermographic image acquisition. The women were divided according to age (n=135 <50 years; n=120 ≥50 years). The primary endpoint, stratified by age group, was the C-statistic for discrimination between breast cancer and non-cancer.
Results In women with abnormal breast ultrasound (n=95 <50 years; n=87 ≥50 years, respectively) the C-statistic was 0.85 and 0.75, respectively, (p=0.20) for discrimination between breast cancer and non-cancer. Sensitivity did not differ (p=0.79) between the younger (82%) and older women (78%), while specificity was lower in the older women (60% vs. 87%, p=0.025). The false positive rate was similar in women with normal and abnormal breast ultrasound. Breast size and structure did not affect thermography performance. No adverse events were observed.
Conclusion Thermography performed well in women <50 years while its specificity in women ≥50 years was inadequate. These promising findings suggest that the Braster device deserves further investigation as a means for the early detection of breast cancer in women under 50 years, particularly since the cost of the device is low.
Disclosure DH, AK, PK, JS, AC, and PB received compensation from Braster S.A. for consultancy and services provided in relation to this study.
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