For centuries, physicians have used palpation as an important diagnostic tool. Elastography is a non-invasive method in which stiffness or strain images of soft tissue are used to detect or classify tumors. A tumor or a suspicious cancerous growth is normally 5-28 times stiffer than the background of normal soft tissue. When a mechanical compression or vibration is applied, the tumor deforms less than the surrounding tissue. i.e. the strain in the tumor is less than the surrounding tissue. Hence a strain image may, under particular simplifying assumptions, be interpreted as representative of the underlying Young's modulus distribution.
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