Angiogenesis and Breast Thermography
What is Angiogenesis and how can Thermography pick up on its activity for early warning signs of tumors and breast cancer?
Angiogenesis is defined as the formation of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis plays a critical role in the growth of cancer because solid tumors need a blood supply if they are to grow beyond a few millimeters in size. Tumors can actually cause this blood supply to form by giving off chemical signals that stimulate angiogenesis. The resulting new blood vessels “feed” growing tumors with oxygen and nutrients, allowing the tumor to enlarge and the cancer cells to invade nearby tissue, to move throughout the body, and to form new colonies of cancer cells, called metastases.
A) Very small tumors receive oxygen and nutrients by diffusion from nearby vascular structures.
B) Growing tumors require more blood so the tumor secretes angeogenic factors which stimulate the formation of new vessels for increased blood supply to the tumor.
C) The new vascularized tumor now has the blood supply it needs for progressive growth. This increased vascular activity generates a heat signature which can be picked up by thermography, helping to aid in early detection.
The following image shows how thermography has identified the increased blood flow and vascular activity (angiogenesis) in the patient's right breast (left side of the image).
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