THERMAL COMPARE PAGE

Mammography/Thermography/Ultrasound.

What is the Difference?

The following graph outlines the differences between mammography, medical infrared imaging (thermography), and ultrasound. In summary, the current screening strategy is not enough to protect women from breast cancer. Medical infrared imaging should be added to every woman’s regular breast health care.

Mammography

Medical Infrared Imaging

Ultrasound

Passes radiation through the breast to produce an image. Suspicious areas need to be dense enough to be seen. Uses infrared sensors to detect heat and increased vascularity (angiogenesis) as the byproduct of biochemical reactions. The heat is compiled into an image for computerized analysis. High frequency sound waves are bounced off the breast tissue and collected as an echo to produce an image.
No radiation, non-invasive, harmless. No radiation, non-invasive, harmless.
Can be used as often as indicated to trace a problem, observe the effectiveness of treatment, or monitor the health of the breast over time.
Structural imaging. Ability to locate the area of suspicious tissue. Functional imaging. Detects physiologic changes. Cannot pinpoint the exact area of suspicion inside the breast. Structural imaging. Ability to locate the area of suspicious tissue.
Compresses the breasts. Non-contact. Nothing touches the breasts. Uses mild sound head contact.
Can detect cancer earlier than physical examination. Earliest method of breast cancer detection known. Not a screening procedure. Used to investigate an area already detected by mammography, thermography, or physical examination. Low spatial resolution (cannot see fine detail). Good at distinguishing solid masses from fluid filled cysts.
Findings increase suspicion. Cannot diagnose cancer. Findings increase suspicion. Cannot diagnose cancer. Findings increase suspicion. Cannot diagnose cancer.

A biopsy is the only test that can determine if a suspected tissue area is cancerous.

Can detect tumors in the pre-invasive stage in mainly slow-growing cancers. Can detect a pathological state of the breast up to 10 years before a cancerous tumor is found by any other method. Ability to detect some cancers missed by mammography.
Cannot detect exponentially fast growing tumors in the pre-invasive stage.

Has the ability to detect fast growing aggressive tumors.

In 7 out of 10 women, thermography will be the first alarm that something is happening.

A positive infrared image represents the highest known risk factor for the existence of, or future development of, breast cancer “ 10 times more significant than any family history of the disease.

Average 80% Sensitivity (20% of cancers missed), in women over age 50. Sensitivity drops to 60% (40% of cancers missed) in women under age 50. Average 90% Sensitivity (10% of cancers missed) in all age groups.
Of these missed cancers, the vast majority are slow growing and poorly invasive. Of the type of cancers to miss, this is highly preferable. This makes thermography highly valuable as a prognostic indicator.
Average 83% Sensitivity (17% of cancers missed) in all age groups.
Hormone use decreases sensitivity. No effect. No known effect.
Average 75% Specificity (25% false-positives).85% of all mammography initiated biopsies are negative. Average 90% Specificity (10% false-positives).Due to thermography’s ability to act as the earliest warning signal, further studies are needed to follow patients over a prolonged time period. Average 66% Specificity (34% false-positives).
Large, dense, and fibrocystic breasts cause reading difficulties. No effect. No known effect.
In most women, the medial upper triangle, peripheral areas next to the chest wall, and the infra mammary sulcus cannot be visualized. Not applicable.Due to the nature of infrared imaging, pre-cancerous and cancerous tumors as deep as the chest wall can be detected. All areas visualized.

Sources:
Index Medicus “ ACS, NEJM, JNCI, J Breast, J Radiology, J Clin Ultrasound
Index Medicus “ Cancer, AJOG, Thermology
Text “ Atlas of Mammography: New Early Signs in Breast Cancer
Text “ Biomedical Thermology

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