Breast Thermography Versus Mammography
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that affects the cells and tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is not peculiar to women, but can also occur in men, although this is rare. It is one of the leading causes of death in women in the and the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, in the United States. It has been proven that the earlier it is diagnosed, the better for the persons affected, however, the type of screening test has caused lots of debates and arguments. The two main screening tests are thermography and Mammography. Even though the two are good screening tools, further tests still have to be done to confirm the diagnosis. Breast cancer screening is a procedure that is used to check for the presence of cancer cells in the breast in people who have shown no sign and symptoms of the disease. This would be put into perspective by considering the two screening test methods individually.
Breast thermography is a screening test that does not require any form of invasion of the body or radiation. It is done without any discomfort and within a short period of about fifteen minutes. It is usually recommended for young adults, and generally for individuals below the age of fifty. The mechanism of this procedure is patterned on the changes that occur in the growth of cancer cells. Usually, blood flow is always more rapid than normal in places where tumor growth is occurring. Blow flow comes with a surge in the temperature of that area. The aim of the procedure is to detect the changes in the skin temperature of that part of the body. Thermography used infra-red technology to identify these changes in temperature. The two main things that would be detected by the thermograph in a breast tissue affected by cancer, would be a rise in blood flow, as well as more metabolic activity. This can be attributed to the unregulated and rapid growth of the cancerous cells. When cancer cells or tissues are detected in a breast after the procedure, further tests are required to confirm the diagnosis. The results can be printed out for the use of doctors. Even though breast thermography is an excellent and safe screening test, some factors can also be considered to achieve more accurate results. Some of them include the
- The age of the individual
- History of the person: People whose relative has had this type of cancer are more prone to having the disease
- Drugs: This includes contraceptive pills and other birth control medications
Advantages of Breast Thermography
- It detects cancer early: Breast thermography is the best screening test when it comes to early detection. It has been shown that this procedure is capable of detecting pre-cancerous growth by about ten years earlier.
- It improves the prognosis: Cancers that are detected early, preferably when they are still in their pre-cancerous stage have a better prognosis than those discovered later. Patients do have more options to choose from, which is best for them. However, this procedure does not diagnose cancer, it only captures the signs associated with tumor development. Other tests would have to be carried out to know the type of treatment that must be administered. In addition to this, people who have the potential of having breast cancer, such as persons with family cases of the disease, can be monitored using breast mammography.
- It’s fast: Breast thermography is a fast procedure and can be completed within fifteen minutes.
- It bears no risk to the patient: It uses the infra-red technology, which is safe for everybody, as compared to radiation screening methods that might even increase the risks of having cancers.
Breast mammography is a screening test that makes use of radiations for the detection of cancerous breast cells and tissues. The radiation uses a low dose of X-ray to detect these anatomical changes. It is a noninvasive procedure just like the thermograph. The procedure is done by exposing the breasts too low doses of x-ray radiations. X-ray pictures of the breasts are taken, printed out, studied an interpreted by the radiologist. However, further tests must be done to make a diagnosis, the breast mammography is just a screening test. The test is done with the aid of the lab technologist. The breasts are compressed so that all the parts of the breast can be captured, and to also reduce the breast thickness, for easier visibility. The person would be asked to change positions so that all the angles of the breast can be covered. The entire procedure takes about half an hour to complete, as compared to the breast thermograph that takes around fifteen minutes.
Advantages of Using Breast Mammography
- It has the ability to detect small tumors, that might not be captured on other screening procedures.
- There are no radiation remnants after the X-ray test.
Risks associated with breast mammography
- People undergoing breast mammography can sometimes get exposed to excessive amount of radiations, although getting accurate results trumps the risk involved.
- In addition, this procedure has been said to increase the risk of developing cancerous growth in the breast. This can be attributed to the excessive radiation that comes with, especially when people have to regularly take the test.
- Breast mammography is not safe for pregnant women. This is because radiations might cause some teratogenic changes in the fetus. Pregnant women must tell the radiologist before going ahead with the test.
BREAST MAMMOGRAPHY VERSUS BREAST THERMOGRAPHY
Both screening tests are both efficient and useful in the process of diagnosing breast cancer, although more tests would have to be done to make a diagnosis. Breast mammography is the gold standard screening test for breast cancer. However,
- Breast thermography has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration department of the United States as the adjunct procedure for
- Mammograms have more cases of false negatives because the radiations do not reach the outer part of the breasts, where the tumors are frequently located.
- Thermographs are more suitable for young adults and can be taken from time to time, without any risk.
A comparison of mammography, ultrasonography, and far-infrared thermography with pathological results in screening and early diagnosis of breast cancer. (2014). Asian Biomedicine.
Baum, G. (1977). Mammography thermography and ultrasonography in breast disease. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 3(1), p.101.
Boonlikit, S. (2013). Comparison of Mammography in Combination with Breast Ultrasonography Versus Mammography Alone for Breast Cancer Screening in Asymptomatic Women. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14(12), pp.7731-7736.
Stelling, C. (1984). Mammography, Thermography, and Ultrasound for Breast Cancer Detection. Radiology, 151(3), pp.588-588.