Is Breast Thermography an Alternative to Mammography?
In response to the growing confusion regarding the current accepted role of thermography for use in breast cancer screening and detection, the International Academy of Clinical Thermology issues the following position statement:
The proper role of thermography is not as a replacement for mammography.
Breast thermography is a complementary screening and detection procedure, which when added to a womans breast health examination substantially increases the sensitivity in detecting pathologies associated with the breast. As a unique physiological examination procedure, breast thermography is the only known test that can also serve as an early warning system by identifying women who have high-risk pre-cancerous infrared imaging markers. The procedure can also play a role in prognosis and as a method of assisting in monitoring the effects of treatment.
Why Thermography is Not a Replacement for Mammography
- There is no one test that can detect 99-100% of all cancers. Therefore, no single test exists that can be used alone as an adequate screening or detection method for breast cancer.
- A physiological imaging procedure (thermography) cannot replace an anatomical imaging procedure (mammography). The two tests are looking for completely different pathological processes.
- Thermography is far more sensitive than mammography. However, some slow growing non-aggressive cancers will only be detected by mammography.
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