FDA: Thermography not on par with mammography for breast cancer screening

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Oct. 27 reminder that thermography is not an acceptable substitute for mammography.

The FDA’s announcement was a response after the agency received reports of incorrect and/or misleading information that could lead “patients into believing that thermography—a type of test that shows patterns of heat and blood flow on or near the surface of the body—is a proven alternative to mammography.”

The FDA stated it is not aware of any scientific evidence to support such claims related to thermography.

“Plenty of evidence shows that mammography is still the most effective screening method for detecting breast cancer in its early, most treatable stages,” reiterates Helen J. Barr, MD, director of the Division of Mammography Quality Standards in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “You should not rely solely on thermography for the screening or diagnosis of breast cancer.”

The FDA points out that thermography can miss breast cancer in its earliest stages. The technique has been an “adjunctive tool” meant to be used alongside other testing methods, including mammography.

See the full release here.