Breast Thermography, the Mammography Alternative

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Medical thermography has been in use since the early 1970’s and the modality was approved by the FDA in 1982 for breast cancer detection and risk assessment as an adjunct to mammography. The reason why so few people know about breast thermography is because the medical establishment, the American Cancer Society and most women’s organizations are still very comfortable recommending mammography.

The difference between the two modalities is profound. Mammography, like MRI and sonography, is an anatomical study; it looks at anatomical changes of the breast. It may take up to ten years for the tumor to grow to a sufficient size to be detectable by either a mammogram or a physical examination.

Thermography is a physiological study. The infrared camera detects the heat (infrared radiation), which is emitted by the breast without physical contact with it (no compression) and without sending any signal (no radiation). This is a receiving mode only. It shows small, unilateral temperature increases, which are caused by an increased blood supply to cancer cells. Physiological changes can precede anatomical mammographic detection by seven to ten years, therefore allowing us to react early in a preventative mode that may stop the development of overt cancer. The study can be interpreted as normal, low, moderate or higher risk.

In September 2000, a large, long-term Canadian study found that an annual mammogram was no more effective in preventing deaths from breast cancer than periodic physical examinations for women in their 50’s. Alternative Medicine has maintained for years that mammograms do far more harm than good. Their ionizing radiation mutates cells, and the mechanical pressure on the breast can spread cells that are already malignant (as can biopsies).

Breast Thermography is not promoted here as a replacement for mammography, but rather to inform women about their options regarding the prevention of breast cancer.

Source: Dr. Moshe Dekel, Board Certified MD, in OB-GYN and Breast Thermography. For additional information, call 516-208-6617, email or visit

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