Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women demanding accurate diagnosis to take remedial measures to treat.
Comparing the diagnostic capability of the computer regulation thermography (CRT), as a novel and safe diagnostic procedure, with common methods including sonography, mammography and clinical examinations for diagnosing breast cancer in suspicious patients against pathology as the gold standard.
In this prospective clinical trial study, out of 97 referred patients, 44 meeting the inclusion criteria were selected. The selected patients were subjected to mammography, sonography, CRT and clinical examinations. Then, the patients showing suspicious symptoms of breast cancer underwent pathological examinations.
CRT indicated a higher specificity compared to mammography and sonography (78.9% vs. 71.4% and 47.0%, respectively). However, CRT sensitivity was lower than those of mammography, sonography and clinical examination (52% vs. 70.6%, 82.4% and 84.0%). Furthermore, CRT accuracy was lower than mammography, sonography and clinical examination (63.6% vs. 70.9%, 64.7% and 88.6%). While CRT positive prediction value (PPV) was higher than those of mammography and sonography, it was lower than that of clinical examination (76.5% vs. 75%, 60.9% and 95.5%). The negative prediction value (NPV) of CRT was less than all other modalities (55.5% vs. 66.7%, 72.7% and 81.8% for the clinical examination, mammography and sonography, respectively).
Although CRT with a lower sensitivity and higher specificity, cannot be recommended to be used as a definitive diagnostic tool for breast cancer patients, it can be used as a complementary method with other methods to increase the diagnostic accuracy of suspicious patients.