Today, June 2, 2011, the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned women not to substitute breast thermography for mammography to screen for breast cancer. Some health care providers are promoting breast thermography on their websites and claiming that thermography is superior to mammography as a screening method for breast cancer, because it does not require radiation exposure or breast compression.

The FDA is unaware of any valid scientific evidence showing that thermography, when used alone, is effective in screening for breast cancer. To date, the FDA has not approved a thermography device (also referred to as a telethermographic device) for use as a stand-alone to screen or diagnose breast cancer. However, the FDA has previously cleared thermography devices for use only as an adjunctive diagnostic tool for breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Therefore, thermography devices should not be used as a stand-alone method for breast cancer screening or diagnosis.

Additional information can be found at the LINK.




Women continue to search and hope for breast screening strategies that do not involve pain and radiation. To date, I do not know of any studies comparing efficacy of mammography to thermography in breast cancer screening. The uncomfortable mammogram remains the best tool for this purpose.

Thank you for the update. I'm wondering if thermography has been used successfully to screen breast cancer. Does it identify incidents of cancer? I see the desire to avoid radiation exposure.