Scientific Support


Clinical Research Demonstrates Superior Sensitivity of Thermascan

According to the two most recent clinical studies—published in the October 2008 American Journal of Surgery and in the January 2003 American Journal of Roentenology—the sensitivity of digital infrared thermal imaging (breast thermography) for detecting breast cancer ranges from 97% to 99%.  In contrast, estimates of mammography’s sensitivity range from 75% to 90%.  Taken together, these studies clearly demonstrate that thermal imaging has superior sensitivity, i.e., the percentage of women who are correctly identified as having breast cancer is much higher with breast thermography than with conventional mammography.


What Scientists Are Saying About Thermography

See what peer-reviewed medical journals are saying about thermography—and why mammography may be a far less favorable option than previously thought:

Several studies have shown that infrared imaging [thermography] is a good, and perhaps the best, method for risk assessment in breast cancer…the presence of an abnormal asymmetric infrared heat pattern [thermogram] of the breasts probably increases a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer at least ten-fold.

Source:  Head JF, Elliott RL. Infrared imaging: making progress in fulfilling its medical promise. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. 2002;21(6):80-5.

  

From the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, it was expected that thermography would hold the key to breast cancer detection, as surface temperature increases overlying malignant tumors had been demonstrated by thermographic imaging…Recent studies suggest that an abnormal thermal sign, in the light of our present knowledge of breast cancer, is ten times as important an indication as is family history data.

Source:  Keith LG, Oleszczuk JJ, Laguens M. Circadian rhythm chaos: a new breast cancer marker. International Journal of Fertility and Women's Medicine. 2001; 46(5):238-47.

  

In the past 30 years there have been numerous studies that have demonstrated thermography to have the ability to detect breast abnormalities that other screening methods may not have identified.  The Ville Marie study demonstrated that thermography alone had a sensitivity of 83% in detecting breast cancer [versus 66% sensitivity for mammography], while the combination of mammography and thermography had a 95% sensitivity…No single tool provides excellent predictability; however, a combination that incorporates thermography may boost both sensitivity and specificity.

Source:  Kennedy DA, Lee T, Seely D.  A comparative review of thermography as a breast cancer screening technique.  Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2009; 8(1):9-16

 

Our recent retrospective analysis of the clinical records of patients who had breast thermography demonstrated that an abnormal thermogram was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and a poorer prognosis for the breast cancer patient…Breast cancer patients with abnormal thermograms have faster-growing tumors that are more likely to have metastasized and to recur with a shorter disease-free interval.

Source:  Head JF, Wang F, Elliott RL.  Breast thermography is a noninvasive prognostic procedure that predicts tumor growth rate in breast cancer patients.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1993; 698:153-8

 

… And About the Potential Dangers of Mammography

  

Our estimates suggest that a decade of annual two-view mammographic screening before age 40 years would result in a net increase in breast cancer deaths, and that starting at age 40 years could result in a material net decrease only if breast cancer mortality is reduced by about 20% or more in women screened.

Source:  Berrington de González A, Reeves G.  Mammographic screening before age 50 years in the UK: comparison of the radiation risks with the mortality benefits.  British Journal of Cancer. 2005; 93(5):590-6.

 

This [new evidence] suggests that the risks associated with mammography screening may be approximately five times higher than previously assumed and that the risk-benefit relationship of mammography exposures may need to be re-examined.

Source:  Heyes GJ, Mill AJ. The neoplastic transformation potential of mammography X rays and atomic bomb spectrum radiation. Radiation Research. 2004;162(2):120-7

 

Mammography subjects the tissue in the breast to radiation.  Radiation induces DNA damage, increasing the risk of tumor initiation. In addition, many women report pain from compression of the breast for mammography, suggesting that tissue damage may occur during this process. Cell division is induced as part of repair of tissue damage, and dividing cells are more susceptible to transformation than quiescent cells.

Source:  Hanigan MH.  Possible role of mammography in increased incidence of breast cancer not considered.  Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(10):998-9

 

Women who carry mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are at greatly increased risk of breast cancer. Numerous studies have shown that moderate to high doses of ionizing radiation are a risk factor for breast cancer…In our series of BRCA carriers, we detected a relatively large effect on breast cancer risk with a level of radiation exposure that is at least an order of magnitude lower than in previously studied medical radiation-exposed cohorts.

Source:  Andrieu N, Easton DF, Chang-Claude J, Rookus MA, et al.  Effect of chest X-rays on the risk of breast cancer among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in the international BRCA1/2 carrier cohort study: a report from the EMBRACE, GENEPSO, GEO-HEBON, and IBCCS Collaborators' Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2006; 24(21):3361-6

 *This selection of quotes was approved by a breast cancer surgeon who has extensive experience with monitoring women for changes in breast health.

  

Head JF, Elliott RL. Infrared imaging: making progress in fulfilling its medical promise. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. 2002;21(6):80-5.

 

Keyserlingk JR, Ahlgren PD, Yu E, Belliveau N. Infrared imaging of breast: initial reappraisal using high-resolution digital technology in 100 successive cases of stage I and II breast cancer. The Breast Journal. 1998;4:241–251

 

Keyserlingk JR, Ahlgren PD, Yu E, Belliveau N, Yassa M. Functional infrared imaging of the breast. IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag. 2000 May-Jun;19(3):30-41.

 

Keith LG, Oleszczuk JJ, Laguens M. Circadian rhythm chaos: a new breast cancer marker. International Journal of Fertility and Women's Medicine. 2001; 46(5):238-47.

 

Kennedy DA, Lee T, Seely D.  A comparative review of thermography as a breast cancer screening technique. Integr Cancer Ther. 2009 Mar;8(1):9-16

 

Frankenberg D, Kelnhofer K, Bär K, Frankenberg-Schwager M. Enhanced neoplastic transformation by mammography X rays relative to 200 kVp X rays: indication for a strong dependence on photon energy of the RBE(M) for various end points.  Radiat Res. 2002 Jan;157(1):99-105.

 

Berrington de González A, Reeves G.  Mammographic screening before age 50 years in the UK: comparison of the radiation risks with the mortality benefits.  Br J Cancer. 2005 Sep 5;93(5):590-6.

 

Andrieu N, Easton DF, Chang-Claude J, Rookus MA, et al.  Effect of chest X-rays on the risk of breast cancer among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in the international BRCA1/2 carrier cohort study: a report from the EMBRACE, GENEPSO, GEO-HEBON, and IBCCS Collaborators' Group.  J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jul 20;24(21):3361-6

 

Heyes GJ, Mill AJ. The neoplastic transformation potential of mammography X rays and atomic bomb spectrum radiation. Radiat Res. 2004 Aug;162(2):120-7

 

Hanigan MH.  Possible role of mammography in increased incidence of breast cancer not considered.  Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(10):998-9

 

Head JF, Wang F, Elliott RL.  Breast thermography is a noninvasive prognostic procedure that predicts tumor growth rate in breast cancer patients.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1993; 698:153-8

 

Isard HJ, Sweitzer CJ, Edelstein GR. Breast thermography. A prognostic indicator for breast cancer survival. Cancer. 1988; 62(3):484-8

 

Brodersen J, Jørgensen KJ, Gøtzsche PC.  The benefits and harms of screening for cancer with a focus on breast screening.  Pol Arch Med Wewn. 2010; 120(3):89-94.