Regional: Thermogram Should Not Replace Mammogram
– Experts in the Harmeling Imaging
Center at Pella Regional Health Center, along with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), are warning women that they should not substitute breast
thermography for mammography to screen for breast
is a proven low-risk, low-dose x-ray used to identify breast cancer early.
age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every year along with their
annual physical. According to the American Cancer Society, mammography screening
and increased early detection of breast cancers too small to be felt has
decreased the breast cancer mortality rate since 1990.
scheduled mammograms are recommended because it can often detect a lump long
before it can be felt,” said Marilou Ozinga, medical imaging supervisor at Pella
Regional. “With our mammography system, we get very high quality images in just
a few minutes time, giving our patients the best possible exam
Unlike mammography, in
which an X-ray of the breast is taken, thermography produces an infrared image
that shows the patterns of heat and blood flow on or near the surface of the
The FDA is unaware of
any valid scientific evidence showing that thermography is effective in
screening for breast cancer. The FDA has cleared thermography devices for use
only as an additional diagnostic tool for breast cancer screening and diagnosis.
effective in breast cancer detection. Our fear at Pella Regional is that
patients who substitute thermography for mammography may miss the chance to
detect cancer at its earliest stage,” said Alison Smith, DO, radiologist at