National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

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Thermogram Is No Substitute for Mammogram

Despite widely publicized claims to the contrary, thermography should not be used in place of mammography for breast cancer screening or diagnosis.

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.

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