We understand that your focus, as a diagnostic imaging provider, is offering the highest quality, up-to-date care for your patients. In order to accomplish your goal, it is essential that your imaging center is aware of current research and innovations in medical imaging.
Mammography is currently considered the best tool to regularly screen for breast cancer. Recently however, a number of people have begun questioning the safety of mammography and offer a potential substitute: thermography. But what exactly is thermography, what do the experts say, and how should your imaging center respond?
What is Thermography?
Thermography, also referred to as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) uses digital infrared imaging to identify and analyze temperature variations in the breasts. Unlike mammography, thermography does not use radiation, a perceived benefit to some. However, the exam has been shown to produce a high incidence of false positive and false negative results.
Click Here to read more about thermography.
What does the Food and Drug Administration say?
• “Thermography is not a replacement for screening mammography and should not be used by itself to diagnose breast cancer.”
• “The FDA is not aware of any valid scientific data to show that thermographic devices, when used on their own, are an effective screening tool for any medical condition including the early detection of breast cancer or other breast disease.”
Click Here to read the entire article from the FDA
What does the American College of Radiology say?
• “There are no large, peer-reviewed published studies that support the routine use of other imaging techniques such as thermography, for breast cancer screening”
• “Due to sensitivity of only 43% for the detection of breast cancer thermography was taken out of the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project”
Click Here to read the rest of the breast cancer screening recommendations from the American College of Radiology
What do our Expert Radiologists say?
We asked several of our Radiologists who are specialized in Women’s Imaging to share their thoughts about thermography’s place in screening for breast cancer.
- Thermography should NOT be used as the sole method of screening for breast cancer
- Thermography is a tool that can be beneficial when used WITH mammography for patients with:
- Dense breasts
- A high risk for developing breast cancer
- Special post surgery needs
We hope you found this information helpful!