The recent plethora of articles reporting a study published that compares a certain type of infrared imaging for breast cancer with mammography has been taken out of context and perspective by some journalists and by certain self interest groups within the medical profession.
The ‘No touch breast scan’ product was tested alongside mammography for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer in the misguided hope of getting a favorable outcome to assist in the generation of investment for their ‘No touch’ company.
Mammograms Beat Thermography for Breast Cancer Detection: Study
U.S. News & World Report
By Kathleen Doheny FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) — Thermography — a breast cancer detection method touted by some as a substitute for mammography — is an unreliable cancer screen, according to new research. In a study of about 180 women, …
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Infrared Thermography Fails to Predict Breast Malignancy
The Oncology Report
Infrared thermography did not accurately predict malignancy and produced an unacceptably high false-positive rate in women with radiologic abnormalities requiring breast biopsy in a 2-year prospective study. The No-Touch Breast Scan (NTBS) is a …
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The No Touch product, methodology and claims made in this study are NOT representative of the well established and professional practitioners of clinical thermography or the way that thermography is reported and used by medical doctors.
As responsible clinical thermographers know well, the role of thermography is not to detect cancer but simply as an adjunctive screening test to provide additional information and to detect suspicious changes over time which can help the patients doctor with decision making and improve the use of other diagnostic tests such as mammograms, ultrasound or MRI.
The findings that thermography provide ARE NOT COMPARABLE OR COMPETITIVE TO MAMMOGRAPHY.
The ‘No Touch’ system claims a different technique, protocol and expectation than the standard breast screening thermography that is widely used around the world.
The basic concept being promoted by ‘No Touch’ is the use of two FLIR industrial cameras scanning simultaneously to produce additional data, this data is then processed by software that claims to provide a diagnosis.
Over 1000 previous peer reviewed studies over the past 20 years and the history and evolution of thermography in breast screening has taught us that :
1, Patients personal variants will cause unacceptable false positives unless a stable baseline is established.
2, Reports cannot be generated by software alone. Interpretation of thermogram results by an experienced and qualified medical doctor who will take into consideration all history and symptoms is fundamental to a useful report.
3, Strict standard protocols for taking images are essential for repeatability and the comparative analysis for changes over time. This is where software analysis can assist a doctor with an opinion.
4, Thermography is most sensitive and specific in the early stages of developing pathology (pre-cancerous) before there are findings that can be easily detected by structural tests such as mammogram and ultrasound. Again, THERMOGRAPHY CANNOT SEE TUMORS, CYSTS, CALCIFICATIONS, OR ANY OTHER STRUCTURAL PATHOLOGY.
5, Thermography is LIMITED to detecting physiological abnormality and physiological (functional) changes over time. Thermography can detect vascular abnormality, inflammation, lymphatic abnormality, hormonal abnormality and other non structural indications of change that justifies additional testing, clinical correlation or close monitoring.
Above all early screening of dysfunction or abnormality gives the patient and her doctor the opportunity for intervention (preventative).
Any controversy relating to breast thermography is generally due to unrealistic or false claims being made about it.
For more information a useful source is : http://acct-blog.com/
Background to the role of Thermography: http://acct-blog.com/2009/07/07/understanding-the-role-of-diti-in-breast-screening-2/