Thermography vs. Mammography

We receive an occasional request about thermography. There is no comparison in the ability to detect breast cancer between thermography and mammography. Mammograms save lives.

What Is Thermography?

The idea behind thermography is that cancer cells require additional blood flow, which increases the temperature. Thermography uses digital infrared imaging (DTI) to create a picture of the breast with a map of the temperature of the breast, believing that “hot spots” are signs of cancer. It is touted as an alternative to mammography without the radiation.

Is Thermography as Accurate as Mammography?

In a 2016 study comparing mammography to thermography, mammography was able to detect cancer at a rate 39% higher than thermography. That was before 3D mammography, which is even more successful at early detection. There were certain types of cancer in which thermography performed even more poorly.

FDA Warnings Against Thermography

In 2019, the FDA issued a broad warning against the use of thermography as a replacement for mammograms. The warning stated: “There is no valid scientific data to demonstrate that thermography devices, when used on their own or with another diagnostic test, are an effective screening tool for any medical condition including the early detection of breast cancer or other diseases and health conditions.” These findings are supported by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Radiology (ACR), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

What About the Radiation?

The incredibly small amount of radiation used to perform a mammogram makes it safe. In fact, skipping your mammogram is far less safe than the small amount of radiation you are exposed to during the mammogram. Mammograms are the single best tool to find breast cancer at its earliest stages — long before you or your doctor can feel a lump. Having routine 3D mammograms performed by an experienced board-certified breast imaging specialist is the best way to detect abnormalities early.

 Visit PURE Mammography at the Smith Haven Mall for a painless, spa-like mammogram today, no appointment necessary. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or learn more about PURE.

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