When a Train is not a Boat, and a Row Boat is not a Luxury Liner

Why Mammography cannot be compared with breast thermography.
Author: Dr. Hillary Smith

I have recently seen the media go crazy with a study that was done at Bryn Mawr Hospital comparing mammography and thermography for breast cancer detection. The thermal images in the study failed to impress those conducting the study. And so we see multiple headlines about mammography being superior to thermography.

Thermography and mammography are not the same. A train is not a boat.

I wish the status quo would stop trying to put a train on the water and a boat on the tracks. Each vehicle has its own purpose and strengths.

Thermography is a radiation free test of physiology looking at very early changes in the tissue. Mammography is an x-ray looking at structure or what has already developed. Only a biopsy can diagnose breast cancer.

We need to change our thinking about breast screening and accept the addition of early, non toxic screening in order to give women the opportunity for lifestyle changes, very early intervention and safe screenings for all women including young women with dense breasts.

As thermographers, we are on the health side. We need to take our honorable place in women’s health care. We are not mammograms. We are a boat, not a train.

Now about boats. The thermography used in the “study” was a computer generated diagnosis with information garnered from industrial cameras.

That’s a row boat and can’t be expected to take you across the ocean.

(As a side note, computer generated mammography reports did not do as well as reports by trained radiologists)

Sophisticated and modern Digital Thermal Imaging used at Advanced Medical Thermography utilizes a highly sensitive medical infrared camera with a narrow range. Our images are interpreted by trained Thermologists, who are Medical Doctors and can take the individual history into account. Thermography is best at looking at evolving patterns and change over time. That is why we always establish a thermal fingerprint or baseline.

This is the boat I want to be on to carry me through a healthy life.

Women, beware of tug boats that promise to take you on the cruise, or Train companies who may try and “railroad” you off the trip you are on!

To your health and peace of mind!!!

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