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What is Breast Thermography?

Thermography relies on an ultra-sensitive camera to capture high resolution, heat images, or infrared photographs. It is a non-invasive test that some doctors use to monitor breast cancer. The procedure takes 15 minutes to complete.

Although the technology came to use in the 1960s, physicians are skeptical of using it due to inaccurate results and poor sensitivity. However, a study conducted in 2018 acknowledged that thermography’s technology has improved. The authors of the research and health authorities advise physicians to use thermography together with other screening methods. 

Thermography uses digital infrared imaging to identify hot and cold areas in the breast. Cancer cells grow in an area with a tumor. The cells need additional nutrients to grow. The increase in blood flow in an area results in elevated temperature in the region, which thermography detects as a hot spot.

FDA advises, “Thermography is not an effective alternative to mammography and should not be used in place of mammography for breast cancer screening or diagnosis.” FDA stresses that thermography is not an option for mammography. Also, a medical provider should do thermography if it is for medical purposes for diagnosis.

Visit a doctor for further tests if the mammography produces alarming results.

Take note of the following risks associated with mammography.

  • Some organizations lack the expertise to interpret the results accurately. Therefore, they provide misleading information.
  • The procedure produces a high number of false-negative and positives. A false negative may lead to late diagnosis, which influences the effectiveness of treatment. Besides, afalse positive leads to anxiety and unnecessary treatment.
  • Research does not support mammography as a diagnostic tool either in combination with another device or alone. So far, no scientific evidence supports the use of mammography to diagnose breast cancer.
  • Although mammography does not expose you to radiation, the risk of using mammography as a breast cancer diagnostic tool is higher.

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