The aura of modern thermology's cutting-edge technology obscures its venerated origins as one of Hippocrates' cardinal signs of pathology: Calor (heat). 400 BCE in The  Book of Prognostics, Hippocrates of Cos wrote; "In whatever part of the body excess of heat or cold is felt, the  disease is there to be discovered" 

(1).  The ancient Greek physicians of the Golden Age were known to employ a  primitive form of thermal imaging as they would apply thin mud slurry  onto  areas of their patient's bodies to observe the patterns and rates of drying. Modern thermology has been refined into a  proper, albeit young science with a vast and rich history. The first electronic infrared sensors were  developed in the 1950's for military intelligence and then were provided for medicine 

(2). The early thermologists of the modern era were accomplished and comprehensive experts in their respective fields of breast oncology, vascular medicine or neurology.  These pioneering thermologists worked in specialty centers with a multi-modality approach to diagnostic medicine. They discovered that the thermograms of women with breast cancer characteristically presented  aberrant high-energy blood vessels overlying the tumor 

(3). However,   it was not until more recent times that it was established the  hot  patterns of breast cancer were the result of dis-regulated hyperemia of core body-temperature blood flowing to a relatively superficial area in the female  breast (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). 




  1. Adams F. translator.  (1952), "Hippocratic Writings", in Hippocrates, Galen, Vol. 10 of Great Books of the Western World, Hutchins R.M. (Ed)  Univ. of Chicago, Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
  2. Dereniak E.L., Boreman G.D. (1996) Infrared detectors and systems. John  Wiley & Sons, New York.
  3. Lawson R. Implications of surface temperatures in the diagnosis  of breast cancer. Canad Med Assn J. 1956;75:309-310. 
  4. Folkman, J. Tumor angiogenesis: therapeutic implications. N Engl J Med. 1971;285(21):1182-1186.
  5. Konerding MA & Steinberg F. Computerized  infrared thermographic  and ultrastructure studies of xenotransplanted  human tumors on nude  mice. Thermology 1988;3:7-14.
  6. Loibl, S. Buck A, String C. et al. The role of  early  expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in human breast  cancer. European  Journal of Cancer (1990)Y 2005.41;2:265-271.
  7. Thornsen LL, Miles DW, Happerfield L, Bobrow LG,  Knowles  RG, Moncada S. Nitric oxide synthese activity in human breast  cancer. Br J Cancer. 1995  July;72(1):41-44.
  8. Reveneau G, Arnould L, Jolimoy G, Hilpert S,  JeJeune P,  Saint-Giorgio V, Belichard c, Jeannin J.-F. Nitric oxide  synthase in human breast cancer is associated  with tumor grade,  proliferation rate, and expression  of progesterone receptors.  Laboratory Investigation. 1999.79;10:1215-1225.
  9. Martin JHJ, Begum S, Alalami O, Harrison A,  Scott KWM.  Endothelial nitric oxide synthase: correlation with  histologic grade, lymph node  status and estrogen receptor expression in  human breast cancer. Tumor Biol.  2000;21:90-97.