Thermogram vs. Mammogram

People often wonder if a thermogram is better than a mammogram, or if they can get a painless thermogram instead of a painful mammogram.  Though both tests are used to detect breast cancer, each test has a different purpose.

A thermogram detects subtle heat changes that point to an area of evolving pathology in the breast. This may or may not be cancer. A mammogram is used to detect a mass that has already formed in the breast, often identified by a cluster of calcium specks.  By the time a mammogram locates a tumor, it has been growing for at least 5 years.

Making the decision about getting a thermogram vs. a mammogram should be done with much discussion about risk factors, family history and lifestyle. For example, if you have had many years normal mammograms, have no family history and have a great lifestyle coupled with a normal thermogram and normal clinical exam, you may want to consider having a mammogram every three to four years and simply get an annual clinical exam and thermogram. However, if you have a very strong family history, drink alcohol and don’t take supplements, you may want to consider annual mammograms in addition to your annual exam and thermogram. If you have a very abnormal thermogram and you have not had a mammogram in several years, you must get a mammogram (and possibly an ultrasound) right away.

The most effective way to find breast cancer is to use all available tools as often as is necessary.   For example, a clinical breast exam performed by highly trained fingers can identify 61% of tumors that turn out to be cancer.  Adding a mammogram, increases the ability to find a cancer to 84%.  Research done in Montreal in the mid-1990s demonstrated that adding a thermogram to breast exam and conventional mammogram increases the ability to find cancer early — do something about it — to 95%. Thermography not just an either/or test; it is a value-added test that both you and your doctor should learn more about.

Thermography: Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection.

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2 Responses to “Thermogram vs. Mammogram”

  1. brentking123 Says:

    As an infrared thermographer who has worked in the cancer field for 8 years I think it is a valuable tool for early detection. I also believe it is not the only tool as you describe.

  2. fairlady47 Says:

    I have heard so many bad things about mammograms CAUSING the cancer they are supposed to detect, by squishing the breast so much and mostly from the radiation used in performing the mammogram.
    I believe more than ever now in fighting cancer through a diet composed of mostly fresh organic vegetables and fruits, no dairy, no wheat and definitely no sugar.
    The last breast exam I had was recently by a nurse practitioner in Baltimore and was the worst medical experience I have ever undergone in my entire 64 years of life. (This was after being abandoned by her for 30 minutes (to strip down and put on the exam gown)…talk about “adding insult to injury”. Then I was also informed by her that the Pap smear she did was “incomplete” and thus not a valid test. Now I have lost faith completely in traditional medical practices. I’m scheduled for a (my second in two years) thermogram this week with a doctor who is into alternative medicine after becoming an MD first.


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