Breast cancer is the leading disease in incidence and mortality among women in developing countries. The opportune diagnosis of this disease strengthens the survival index. Mammography application is limited by age and periodicity. Temperature is a physical magnitude that can be measured by using multiple sensing techniques. IR (infrared) thermography using commercial cameras is gaining relevance in industrial and medical applications because it is a non-invasive and non-intrusive technology. Asymmetrical temperature in certain human body zones is associated with cancer. In this paper, an IR thermographic sensor is applied for breast cancer detection. This work includes an automatic breast segmentation methodology, to spot the hottest regions in thermograms using the morphological watershed operator to help the experts locate the tumor. A protocol for thermogram acquisition considering the required time to achieve a thermal stabilization is also proposed. Breast thermograms are evaluated as thermal matrices, instead of gray scale or false color images, increasing the certainty of the provided diagnosis. The proposed tool was validated using the Database for Mastology Research and tested in a voluntary group of 454 women of different ages and cancer stages with good results, leading to the possibility of being used as a supportive tool to detect breast cancer and angiogenesis cases.
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