Mammograms. Get the yearly. Even though they conclusively do not work, the song and dance remains the same. When studies come out showing that mammograms have failed us (here), the mammogram industry merely beefs up it’s pink campaigns with major corporate sponsors. And any technology, such as thermography, that gets in its way gets lambasted and ridiculed as ineffective, tree hugger tools.
Look at the FDA’s dismissive, bullying response to thermography.
Via FDA.gov: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says mammography— an X-ray of the breast—is still the most effective way of detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. Thermography produces an infrared image that shows the patterns of heat and blood flow on or near the surface of the body.
The agency has sent several warning letters to health care providers and a thermography manufacturer who claim that the thermal imaging can take the place of mammography.
How could that be interpreted as anything other than intimidation on the part of the FDA? What world are we living in whereas this type of behavior is OK? The mammogram industry’s behavior, along with the FDA, is shameful. The clear goal is to intimidate the competition and thereby hold onto a huge multi-billion dollar industry.
Here is a bit from Cancer.org invalidating thermography. Notice anything missing?
Thermography has been around for many years, but studies have shown that it’s not an effective screening tool for finding breast cancer early. Although it has been promoted as helping detect breast cancer early, a 2012 research review found that thermography was able to detect only a quarter of the breast cancers found by mammography. In other words, it failed to detect 3 out of 4 cancers that were known to be present in the breast. Digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI), which some people believe is a newer and better type of thermography, has the same failure rate. This is why thermography should not be used as a substitute for mammograms.
Where’s the source for the 2012 research review? Why not source such a claim? Well, most likely the purported claim is this one. Read this and tell me if it even seems like a legit approach to a study?
AIMS: To determine the effectiveness of digital infrared thermography for the detection of breast cancer in a screening population, and as a diagnostic tool in women with suspected breast cancer.
METHODS: A comprehensive search of electronic databases together with a search of international websites was conducted. Diagnostic studies comparing thermography with mammography for screening in asymptomatic populations; or comparing thermography with histology in women with suspected breast cancer; were eligible for inclusion. Quality of included studies was appraised using the QUADAS criteria.
RESULTS: One study reported results for thermography in screening population and five studies reported diagnostic accuracy of thermography in women with suspected breast cancer. Overall, studies were of average quality. Sensitivity for thermography as a screening tool was 25% (specificity 74%) compared to mammography. Sensitivity for thermography as a diagnostic tool ranged from 25% (specificity 85%) to 97% (specificity 12%) compared to histology.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently there is not sufficient evidence to support the use of thermography in breast cancer screening, nor is there sufficient evidence to show that thermography provides benefit to patients as an adjunctive tool to mammography or to suspicious clinical findings in diagnosing breast cancer.
Which populations? How many participants? This study is vague, but clearly fodder for the anti-thermography campaign.
Watch this video by Dr. Johnnie Ham, MD regarding the risk versus benefits of mammograms.