Thermography is promoted as a helpful diagnostic tool to detect the presence of cancer cells in the breast at an early stage.
So let’s look into this further and discuss the potential merits of this diagnostic procedure.
Thermography is also known as thermal imaging. It uses a special camera which can measure temperature to scan the breast tissue. The procedure is not invasive and does not involve any kind of radiation.
Thermography is promoted for use as a breast cancer screening device because proponents say that breast cancer cells grow and multiply very fast which results in increased blood flow and a faster metabolism in tumors. This tends to elevate the temperature of those areas which would in turn raise the temperature of the skin.
The treatment has been available for many years. However it should be noted that there are no conclusive studies which support its ability to detect breast cancer in the early stages. The American Cancer Society does not recommend that thermography be used as a replacement for mammography for the early detection of breast cancer. And thermography cannot find cancers which are deeper in the skin or tumors which are small in size.
There is ongoing work by developers to come up with versions of thermography which are more sensitive and accurate. In this way it is hoped that the technique will become more accurate and useful.
In the meantime, it should be noted that thermography is currently being promoted as a full body diagnostic tool. Proponents of the system claim that inflammation occurs in the early stages of cancer development.
Furthermore they say that thermography is an excellent way to develop a full thermal body map in order to detect areas of concern. They also point to other diagnostic methods as falling short. In particular it has been noted that mammograms can actually cause harm due to the radiation involved. These claims are of concern to the medical community and they do not like to see anyone discouraged from seeking traditional screening methods.
But thermography is being promoted as effective for identifying sources of pain in many areas. It can be useful to help detect early signs of arthritis and the type involved.
There are a number of other medical conditions which proponents claim thermography is of benefit. This includes neck and back pain, sinus conditions, tooth problems, and fibromyalgia to name a few.
But its use as a full body diagnostic tool is heavily promoted. Some proponents also claim that it is just as effective or even more effective than many other traditional diagnostic and scanning tools such as mammograms, CT scans and x-rays. They claim that thermography is noninvasive and totally safe.
While the safety of thermography is not in question, there are serious questions by the medical community as to the validity and reliability of these claims. As indicated earlier, there has been no conclusive scientific evidence of the ability of thermography to accurately detect the presence of breast cancers or other cancers in early stages.
Since this procedure causes no damage, it is something which could probably do no harm. But if a thermography scan does seem to indicate the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions, patients are strongly encouraged to see their doctor and pursue traditional screening procedures to confirm the situation.